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topic 10655

Commercial Tantalum Coating Processes


We're trying to find out if there is any commercial process for applying tantalum to copper....I know that Ta can only be plated from a molten salt anybody actually doing this in a production sense? Are there any other processes (vacuum deposition, etc.)?


Scott Dickerson
- Fremont, California, USA


Tantalum can be deposited by vacuum deposition. We haven't had a great deal of success arcing tantalum, but it sputters easily enough. I would assume that it could easily be e-beam evaporated as well. Some years ago we tried to deposit in on copper. Adhesion wasn't all that good. It may be necessary to lay down an intermediary layer, or implant the copper surface with tantalum before the deposition. Good sputter cleaning would also be needed.

The larger question is whether or not the vacuum deposited coating will meet your needs. The application is really the key, whether the coating is plated on or vacuum deposited it may not stay on well because of the fundamental differences between Ta and Cu.

jim treglio portrait
Jim Treglio
PVD Consultant - San Diego, California


I'm sure that Ta films can be deposited on Cu by sputtering methods. It all depends on what kind of thickness you want, what the performance requirements of the film is, what the application is and what you're willing to spend. Also, how many parts and in what timeframe.

There will definitely be some cost associated with developing the coating process once the above things are specified.

If you can tell us a little bit more about your requirements we might be able to help you find someone to work with you.

John Davis
John Davis
- Berthoud, Colorado, USA


On one hand you can try to use a APS (Atmospheric Plasma Spray) or, better, VPS process to deposit Ta coatings. On the other hand, especially if you need thick coatings on flat materials, you can try to apply the explosive cladding.

Christian Warnecke
- Switzerland

February 27, 2009

As indicated in the former answer, APS can deposit Tantalum coating on some substrates. Unfortunately, I am not sure if it can be deposited on Copper substrates.

Another method may concern CS (Cold Spray, or sometimes can be called CGDS-Cold Gas Dynamic Spray). As I know, there are some reports that thick and dense Tantalum coating with almost no oxide can be deposited by CS.

I guess which kind of method to choose is strongly dependent on your potential use. For example, APS and CS can only make relatively "thick" coating while sputtering method can provide quite "thin" film.

Xian-Jin Ning
- Beijing, P.R.China

October 23, 2010

High temperature Chemical Vapor Deposition of tantalum works very well on copper. A dense, corrosion resistant layer is obtained with very good adhesion. The copper can be deformed quite a lot without delaminating the tantalum, you can U-bend a 6 mm rod with a 20 mm radius.
It is done on an industrial scale.

Soren Eriksen
- Roskilde, Denmark

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