The Kunming Metal Research Institute in Yunnan, China, has developed a precious metal sputtering target and delivered it to prominent semiconductor companies in the United States, the Yunnan Provincial Government said recently. "The production of precious metal sputtering targets has been a technology monopolized by some developed countries such as Japan, the United States, and Germany," said the Yunnan Provincial Science and Technology Agency, and they added, “We have cracked the monopoly.”
According to the Yunnan Provincial Science and Technology Agency, the sputtering target that has been successfully developed is nickel-platinum (NiPt), cobalt-chromium-platinum-boron (CoCrPtB), ruthenium (Ru), and cobalt-chromium-platinum-silica (CoCrPt-SiO2). Powder metallurgy was used for the preparation of NiPt and CoCrPtB, and powder metallurgy was utilized for Ru and CoCrPt-SiO2.The purity is 99.995 wt%.
Sputtering is used to form a thin film by sputtering an inert gas such as argon (Ar) on a target, causing the metal atoms to break apart and stick to the substrate. The source of the thin film to be deposited is a sputtering target. A precious metal sputtering target is required to deposit the precious metal on the substrate. Precious metals with high conductivity and high corrosion resistance are considered to be important materials for electronic circuits such as semiconductors, displays, and solar cells.
The predecessor of the Kunming Jewelry Research Institute is the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. It was started in 1938 when the Institute of Engineering moved to Kunming City, Yunnan Province. In 1949, the Nationalist Party, which was defeated in the civil war, moved to Taiwan, and the remaining inland institution changed its name to the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The name of the National Central Research Institute is maintained by the Taiwan government.
The Kunming Precious Metal Research Institute belonging to the Chinese Academy of Sciences is now a subsidiary of the Yunnan Precious Metal Group (Sino-Precious Metal holding). The Yunnan Jewelry Group is a subsidiary of the Shanghai Exchange listed company SPM (Sino-platinum Metals, 贵 研 业). SPM recorded sales of 15.4 billion yuan (about 2.5 trillion won) last year.
Yunnan Tin Group Holding (云南锡业集团(控股) holds a 100% stake in Yunnan Jewelry Group, Yunnan Province public corporation. In other words, the Kunming Jewelry Research Institute is also the grandchild company of Yunnan Tin Group Holding. Yunnan Group Holdings owns Yunnan Tin, a publicly traded exchange-listed company, through its subsidiary Yunnan Tin Group. Yunnan's sales last year was 34.4 billion yuan (5.58 trillion won).