What is sputtering yield?

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Sputtering yield is the statistical probability of the number of atoms sputtered from a target, when an ion strikes the target.

It is calculated as the number of atoms sputtered from the target per the number of incident ions.

The sputtering yield relies on the energy of the incident ions, and the yield increases with the incident ion energy. In order for sputtering to occur, the incident ion needs to reach a certain amount, but once it exceeds 104 eV, the ion will enter into the target and the yield decreases, as the target will simply heat up.

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Glossary of vacuum technology related terms