Sputtering of Annealed Reed Blades
The Sputtering of the contact area of reed blades is one of the most important steps that gives a reed switch its electrical contact stability and reliability. This process has to be uniform and built up in Angstroms to ensure a smooth and stable contact resistance.
Reed blades are loaded into special jigs that are loaded into the sputtering chamber. The chamber is then evacuated using Cryogenic pumps to a high level vacuum level. When the chamber is free of all atmospheric impurities, the contact area of the reed blades are coated with Ruthenium using a Magnetron and a target. The coating process is fast and efficient and the reed blades are then inspected for thickness uniformity and surface roughness using an Angstrom meter. After the contact sputtering process, reed blades undergo a surface burn-off or a Bake-out treatment.