Used sputter coating target, SEM

Used sputter coating target, SEM

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: False coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) image of the surface of a used gold-palladium alloy sputter-coating foil target. SEM samples that do not conduct electricity are frequently 'sputter coated' with several nanometers of metal such as gold, platinum, chromium, or alloys such as gold-palladium to improve image quality when viewed in the SEM. Foils of these metals are gradually 'sputtered' away by a process of ion bombardment during the sample coating process and eventually the foil target is eroded away completely in places (shown in shades of blue here). This discarded used foil takes on the appearance of a fantasy landscape when it is itself viewed under the SEM. Image width is 54.2 microns.

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Keywords: alloy, crystals, electron microscopy, etched, gold, gold palladium, metal, metallurgy, palladium, plasma vapour deposition, pvd, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron microscope, sem, sputter, sputter coating, sputter target

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