A Brief Introduction to Terbium Sputtering Target

1. Introduction

Terbium sputtering targets are made of Terbium metal, and it is used in many fields such as tool coatings, optical coatings, and solar coatings. Let’s take a closer look at the properties, production, and applications of these targets.

2. Properties of Terbium Sputtering Targets

Terbium sputtering targets have similar properties to terbium metal.

  • Terbium, an element (Tb, 65), belongs to Group 3, Period 6 of the periodic table. It is a silver-white soft metal with a melting point of 1,356°C and a boiling point of about 2,800°C.
  • In chemical classification, terbium is a rare earth element belonging to the lanthanide series. In addition, its compounds are highly fluorescent and used in various industries.

Table 1 Terbium Sputtering Targets Specifications

Material TypeTerbium-Metal
Color/AppearanceSilvery White, Metallic
Melting Point (°C)1356
Boiling Point (°C)2800
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion10.3 x 10-6/K
Density (g/cm3)8.33
Available SizesDia.: 1.0″, 2.0″, 3.0″, 4.0″ Thick: 0.125″, 0.250″

3. Manufacturing Process

Terbium is fairly abundant in the earth’s crust, but it does not occur naturally as a free element. Terbium is mined from minerals such as calcite, gadolinite, monazite, and euxenite. We need to separate metals from their rare earth relatives.

Ion exchange and valence change are two techniques commonly used to obtain pure lanthanides. The former method is preferred for terbium. Then you can get a terbium sputtering target using the easy methods:

3.1 Casting

The casting process can be divided into three steps: melting, casting, and machining.

  1. First, the raw material terbium must be dissolved to a specific distribution ratio.
  2. They are then poured into molds to form terbium ingots.
  3. Finally, through planned processing, a terbium sputtering target is obtained.
  4. Always perform the process in a vacuum or inert atmosphere to prevent oxidation.

Figure 2 shows the manufacturing process of titanium sputtering targets.

3.2 Powder Metallurgy

Powder metallurgy is an option when casting does not achieve the expected target dimensions.

  1. Similar to the casting process, the powder metallurgy process begins with melting and casting.
  2. Then you need to crush them and press the powder.
  3. Quality terbium sputtering targets are finally obtained by high-temperature sintering.

Figure 3 shows the general process of powder metallurgy.

4. Applications

Terbium sputtering materials are used for decoration, functional coatings, flat panel displays, and so on.

  • Terbium metal acts as an important additive to improve the performance of Nd-Fe-B permanent magnets. This metal is also used as a dopant for calcium fluoride and calcium tungstate.
  • Most of the terbium compounds are used in the production of green phosphors for fluorescent lamps and color TV tubes.

5. Conclusions

In short, terbium sputtering target made through casting and powder metallurgy is commonly available for the coatings industry. We hope that this article has given you a better understanding of terbium sputtering targets.

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