CERAMICS INTERNATIONAL, vol.43, no.17, pp.15185-15188, 2017 (SCI-Expanded)
Fabrication of sputtering targets deviates from the customary practices in ceramic processing as their production volumes are often quite low. The use of hot-press, in this context, greatly facilities the fabrication of sputter targets since both the density and the dimensions of the target are controlled during the pressing. In the absence of hot press, however, the fabrication requires extensive preliminary work, but difficult to justify due to limited volume production. In this study, in place of customary rigid die, we propose the use of a deformable die which greatly simplifies the fabrication procedure. In this approach, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) rings are used as compaction die filled with powders, tapped to uniform density. The die is then deformed between parallel platens whereby compacting the powders. The method relies on the fact that the pressing leads to almost no change in the internal diameter of the ring. This approach was illustrated with the fabrication of 2 in. La0.8Sr0.2CoO3-delta (LSC-113) target where the deformable die was dimensioned by preliminary experiments on PTFE rings of small diameter. Sputter targets of sintered density greater than 0.95 and dimensions within the tolerances of the sputter gun were successfully fabricated. It is proposed that the approach may also be applicable to flat products of irregular shape, as high friction in tapped particulate media makes the lateral flow difficult, confining the compaction mainly to axial direction.