The global sputtering equipment cathode market size was valued at USD 1,090.10 million in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 1,849.53 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6.05% during the forecast period (2023-2031).
Sputtering is the process of blasting the atoms of a target or source material with high-energy particles in a vacuum environment, which "knocks off" or "sputters" atoms that are deposited as a thin layer onto a substrate, such as a silicon wafer, solar panel, or optical device. Sputtering deposits thin layers at the core of modern semiconductors, CDs, disc drives, and optical devices. Due to the vast array of semiconductor uses, several industries have a growing need for cathode-sputtering equipment. According to projections, artificial intelligence (AI) will increase demand for semiconductors in various sectors, including electronics and aerospace, leading to market growth. The market is expected to grow much quicker if semiconductors are used to generate virtual reality in video games.
Commercial solid demand for fuel cells in the United States, driven mainly by the public transportation industry, combined with expanded fuel cell manufacturers' manufacturing capacity, has led to an increase in fuel cell coating, which has led to market expansion. Magnetron cathode demand is anticipated to increase as magnetron sputtering becomes increasingly popular for thin-film coating fuel cells in automotive applications. Additionally, it permits the employment of several magnetrons with various cathode materials. These elements are anticipated to increase the output of sputtering equipment, driving the market's expansion.
The rise in demand for consumer electronics, business tools and equipment, automotive items, networking, and communication products is fueling the demand for semiconductors, with a ton more. Technological advancements like wireless technologies (5G), artificial intelligence, and automation have inspired these sectors. The semiconductor industry is expected to be forced to invest in this machinery to increase manufacturing capabilities due to rising Internet of Things (IoT) device numbers. The demand for semiconductor manufacturing is growing as the number of semiconductor components per car increases and trends like autonomous and electric vehicles gains popularity.
Additionally, the number of Internet of Things applications will likely grow, raising demand for semiconductors. The expansion of 5G networks is also anticipated to boost the wireless communications industry. According to fifth-generation networks, the global need for semiconductors will be fueled by the possibility that consumers will upgrade their handsets and other gadgets. Many governments are launching programs to invest in semiconductor production to meet the region's growing need due to the increase in semiconductor demand. The market under study is anticipated to expand due to such initiatives and rising semiconductor adoption.
One of the most popular and straightforward techniques for physical vapor deposition is thermal evaporation (PVD). Using a resistive heat source, it creates a thin layer by evaporating a solid substance in a vacuum. The substance is then heated until a vapor pressure is produced in a high vacuum chamber. As a result, the substrate is coated as the evaporated material, or vapor stream, moves thermally through the vacuum chamber. This technique is appropriate for electrical connection applications and can deposit metals and nonmetals, such as aluminum, chromium, gold, indium, and many others. This procedure works well for thin-film devices (OLEDs, solar cells, and thin-film transistors), wafer bonding (where indium bump deposition is required), and the co-deposition of multiple components by adjusting the temperature of different crucibles.
It has several benefits, including high deposition rates of about 50 Angstroms per second (/s), low cost compared to other PVD processes, compatibility with ion-assist sources, and remarkable uniformity when employing planetary substrate fixturing and uniformity masks. Despite the benefits of thermal evaporation, sputtering results in better step coverage, higher packing densities, and better adhesion when stresses are low. Additionally, the process variables in sputtering are more consistent and predictable, allowing for automation. With such benefits, the market impact of this danger can be viewed as minimal.
Companies increasingly use procedures like magnetron sputtering technology for improved efficiency and quality of semiconductors as they transition to utilizing next-generation production techniques. Magnetron sputtering is a high-rate vacuum coating process to deposit metals, alloys, and compounds onto various materials with thicknesses up to one millimeter. High deposition rates, high purity films, exceptionally high adhesion of films, excellent coverage of steps and minor features, capability to coat heat-sensitive substrates, ease of automation, high uniformity on large-area substrates, and many other benefits are provided by magnetron sputtering technology. Due to these benefits, semiconductors are sputtered more frequently using the magnetron sputtering technique.
All plasma-assisted reactive magnetron sputtering targets make high-quality optical coatings possible. The ultrafine grain structure and purities of up to 6N throughout the manufacturing process ensure repeatability. A research team from China's Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) recently studied the reaction mode of high-power pulsed reactive magnetron sputtering. This experiment decreased carrier concentration and increased mobility to 14.93 cm2/Vs and IR transmittance at 4 m. During the deposition process, the reaction continued in poisoning mode at an oxygen partial pressure of more than 18 cm. Demand for using these technologies is generated by such technological advancements, increased applications due to improved performance, and additional process benefits.
The global sputtering equipment cathode market is segmented by product type.
Based on product type, the global sputtering equipment cathode market is bifurcated into linear and circular.
The circular segment is the major contributor to the market and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.65% during the forecast period. Two rotating cylindrical magnetrons are used in a sputtering system with an AC power source in the 10- to 100 kHz frequency range. The revolving cylindrical magnetrons remove the dielectric material applied to the target to create a dielectric layer on a substrate. This prevents the dielectric layer of the target from acting as a capacitor and might help avoid arcing. A series connection between the marks and an impedance-limiting capacitor could be made to prevent arcing using the transformer. Compared to the capacitors used in radio frequency sputtering systems to link the power source to a target, this impedance-limiting capacitor has a far greater value.
Due to the larger surface area of rotary targets, the magnetron output can cover a more extensive area in a given length of time. This prevents nodule growth, maintains the target at a cooler temperature, and lessens arcing. Targets can operate continuously for extended periods because rotational sputtering reduces the creation of nodules. Planar targets are usually used 30% of the time, but rotary marks are used 80% of the time, resulting in less scrap and longer runtimes. For continuous sputtering applications, rotary markings are perfect. Continuous processing increases throughput because setting up the sputtering chamber takes less time. The companies in the market are incorporating and creating new goods, predicting the rise in end-user demand and the advantages rotary technology has over linear.
Applications for the linear sputtering apparatus include semiconductors, solar energy, display, data storage, and many more. For instance, Bosch began mass-producing Sic-based power semiconductors in December 2021 to supply automakers worldwide. The clean-room area of the Bosch wafer fab in Reutlingen was already expanded by 10,764 square feet in 2021 to accommodate the rising demand for such chips. One of the critical innovations in the electronics sector is the semiconductor. This is explained by their high electron mobility, broad temperature range, and minimal energy requirement. The Semiconductor Sector Association (SIA) forecasted that global semiconductor sector sales would reach USD 555.9 billion in 2021, the highest yearly total ever, a 26.2% rise over USD 440.4 billion in 2020.
A planar magnetron sputtering device produces an extra, variable magnetic field that is normal to and pervasive throughout a cathode plate's erosion region. The maximum cathode plate erosion varies as a result of the previous variable magnetic field's constant changes in the general location of the locations where magnetic lines of flux are parallel to the cathode plate. By creating a less sharp erosion pattern over a larger cathode plate region, a more significant portion of the cathode plate material can be sputtered from any planar cathode plate.
The global sputtering equipment cathode market is bifurcated into four regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant revenue contributor and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.40% during the forecast period. Due to the ongoing importation of diversified, international electronic equipment into China, semiconductor consumption in that nation is increasing compared to other countries. Three of the top five smartphone manufacturers worldwide are based in the government, creating enormous prospects for semiconductor adoption. By the end of February 2021, Chinese operators had installed 792,000 5G base stations, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Additionally, there are now 260 million connections between 5G terminals. The country's expanding electric car market stimulates the expansion of cutting-edge semiconductors, which advances the market.
North America is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 4.70% during the forecast period. To increase the manufacturing of electronic components for the military and aerospace, vendors in the sector are engaging in mergers and acquisitions. For instance, to create the most power-dense capacitor technology for specialized electronics manufacturers working on mission-critical products for markets like the military and aerospace, Evans Capacitor Company, a supplier of high energy density capacitors, merged with Quantic Electronics Company, a portfolio of Arcline Investment Management Company, in April 2021. Such changes will drive the market. President Joe Biden declared that local semiconductor production was a goal for his government in February 2021.
Germany is making significant investments to support local initiatives to hasten the development of 5G services. Since July 2020, the 5G network has helped about 40 million people, according to Deutsche Telekom. Germany has also been a leader in developing networks for regional 5G applications. Many businesses are stepping up their efforts to advance 5G technology. North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and Baden-Württemberg are the first German states to mandate solar-PV technology for particular development projects as of January 2022. A PV system must be installed in commercial parking lots in NRW that have more than 35 spaces. The German government will use the money to build new semiconductor manufacturing facilities. The main goal of this investment is to lessen the reliance on imports for future semiconductor requirements.
In the Middle East and Africa, semiconductors are anticipated to be widely adopted throughout sectors throughout the projected period. The area's automotive industry's developments are expected to generate sizable prospects for market expansion. For instance, Dubai just started a push to put 42,000 electric vehicles on the roads of the United Arab Emirates by 2030. The government is offering incentives to people who own EVs, boosting EV demand in the UAE and boosting the market for semiconductor devices in the area. The increase in EV car development may impact the market under study. Therefore, sputtering equipment is utilized to coat drive train bearings and components. The first suggested approach is to employ a magnetron sputtering technique to deposit every structure in a CIGS-based solar device.
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