What Products are Made of Tantalum?

Tantalum appears in many applications, including

– Sputtering barrels: Computer disk manufacturers and other industries that use sputtering processes are increasingly using tantalum to resist corrosion in sputtering barrels. The tantalum lining process is more environmentally friendly than chromium lining, helping the industry reduce its ecological impact.


– Machined fasteners: Machined fasteners made from tantalum offer excellent corrosion resistance. They replace fasteners made from alternative materials that are prone to failure or require expensive equipment downtime for maintenance. Tantalum fasteners are found in industries such as mining, energy, and pharmaceuticals, as well as in metal and chemical processing.

– X-ray/radiation shielding: Tantalum’s radiopaque properties make it ideal for X-ray and shielding applications that seek to prevent radiation leakage. Tantalum shielding can also protect sensitive electronic components in aerospace structures as well as components operating in corrosive environments.

– Vacuum furnace heating elements: Many vacuum furnace components contain tantalum rods due to tantalum’s oxidation resistance and high melting point. Tantalum’s temperature particle stability increases the life expectancy of the machine, as it can withstand high temperatures for extended periods of time.

– Machined parts for chemical processing equipment: Tantalum’s corrosion-resistant properties make it the material of choice for machined parts for chemical processing equipment. Tantalum machined parts replace inferior materials that perform poorly in harsh chemical environments and require extensive maintenance.


The uses of tantalum

– 1: Tantalum carbide, used for cutting tools

– 2: Tantalum lithium, for surface acoustic waves, cell phone filters, hi-fi, and TV

– 3: Tantalum oxide, used in telescopes, cameras, lenses for cell phones and X-ray films, inkjet printers

– 4: Tantalum powder, used for tantalum capacitors in electronic circuits

– 5: Tantalum plate, used in chemical reaction equipment such as coating, valves, etc.

– 6: Tantalum wire, tantalum rod, used for repairing skeleton plates, suture frames, etc.

– 7: Tantalum ingots: used for sputtering targets, high-temperature alloys, computer hardware drive discs, and TOW-2 bomb-forming projectiles


Together with tungsten carbide WC and titanium carbide TIC, tantalum carbide TAC is a cemented carbide component used in cutting and drilling tools.


Tantalum is particularly suitable for heat exchangers; it has high thermal conductivity and its surface properties prevent the formation of adhesive deposits.


Manufacture of furnace components such as screens, supports, and crucibles. The alloying elements in high-temperature alloys increase high-temperature strength. It is biologically inert and can be used for implants, needles, etc. Yttrium tantalate YTAO4 is used in medical diagnostics.


SAM offers our customers a wide selection of tantalum rods, tubes, sheets, and wires, all designed for a variety of applications. Our products are cold rolled and annealed in a proprietary process to create machined parts with metallurgical properties ideal for applications such as sputtering gun tubes, processing into fasteners, X-ray radiation shielding, development rings, vacuum furnace heating elements, chlorinator springs, assemblies, and more for light bulbs or chemical processing equipment.

An Overview of Tantalum Sputtering Target Material

Tantalum sputtering target material is a chip of tantalum obtained by pressure processing. It has high chemical purity, small grain size, as well as good recrystallized structure and consistency of three axes. Tantalum sputtering target is mainly used in optical fiber, the semiconductor chip and integrated circuit sputtering deposition film, as well as in cathode sputtering coating, high vacuum suction active material, etc., which is an important material for thin film technology.

Classification of the tantalum target

According to the application field, it can be divided into optical tantalum target and semiconductor tantalum target.


The performance index of the tantalum target

  • Purity

Metal impurities do not affect the sputtering process but affect the life of tantalum film, and the purity of the target material is different in different application fields. The impurities U, Th, and other radioactive elements have a negative impact on MOS, while K, Na and other alkali metals have a negative impact on MOS interface performance. In addition, transition metals such as Fe, Ni, Cr and refractory metals such as W, Mo, and Nb generate leakage current at the interface. Therefore, the content of the above impurity elements should be strictly controlled.

  • Porosity

The target material should be dense enough. If there are pores in the target material, the gas in the pores will be released in the sputtering process, and an arc will be generated, causing tiny particles to sputter out of the target and generating uneven points on the film.

  • Grain size

The size of grain affects sputtering uniformity and sputtering speed. Typically, the grain size is required to be less than 100 microns, since the large grain size causes uneven sputtering and irregular nodules on the target. Meanwhile, no crystal band is allowed and the grains should be uniform on the whole target surface.

  • Texture

The texture difference has a great influence on sputtering speed, and (100) texture is usually required.

  • Surface finishingment

If the surface finish of the target material is not high enough, it is easy to form small bumps in the sputtering process.

  • Uniformity

Uniformity should be consistent in all directions of the target and between each target.


Applications of the tantalum target

In recent years, with the rapid development of semiconductor technology, electronic devices are becoming more and more miniaturized and integrated, and the thin film technology is used in the manufacturing process.

Tantalum target is mainly used for sputtering coating. Tantalum film, tantalum alloy film, silicon tantalum oxide film, tantalum nitride film, and tantalum oxide film have a wide range of applications. Tantalum oxide is used in the resistance and capacitance of integrated circuits and the resistance of hybrid circuits; tantalum film forms a barrier layer to prevent corrosion when spraying printed circuit; tantalum film is also used as seed in magnetic resonance devices. The total global demand in these areas is about 30t annually.

Another major use of tantalum is as a diffusion barrier between silicon and copper conductors in integrated circuits. Compared with other metals, tantalum, as a barrier layer of copper, has a lower diffusion rate, higher interlayer bonding strength, and heat resistance. The global demand for sputtering targets in this application field is expected to increase to 200t.

Please visit http://www.samaterials.com for more information.