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  • Published On : Aug 2023
  • Code : CMI6221
  • Pages : 165
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Advanced Materials

The global Copper Sputtering Target market size was valued at US$ 3.69 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach US$ 12.77 billion by 2030, grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.4% from 2023 to 2030. Copper sputtering targets are high purity copper materials used as a source for depositing thin copper films onto substrates via the sputtering process. The key advantage of copper sputtering is the ability to deposit uniform, high quality copper coatings onto components for various applications spanning semiconductors, displays, solar cells, and more. Key drivers include the rising demand from electronics and automotive industries.

The Copper Sputtering Target Market is segmented by application, end-use industry and region. By application, the market is segmented into semiconductor, solar energy, flat panel display, architectural glass, data storage and others. The semiconductor segment accounted for the largest share in 2022 owing to the widespread use of copper interconnects in chips and semiconductors.

 Copper Sputtering Target Market Regional Insights

  • North America is expected to be the largest market for Copper Sputtering Target Market during the forecast period, accounting for over 41% of the market share in 2022. The growth of the market in North America is attributed to the well-established electronics and semiconductor industries in the region.
  • The Europe market is expected to be the fastest-growing market for Copper Sputtering Target Market, with a CAGR of over 9% during the forecast period. The growth of the market in Europe is attributed to the rising electric vehicle production and demand for renewable energy.
  • The Asia Pacific market is expected to be the second-largest market for Copper Sputtering Target Market, accounting for over 32% of the market share in 2022. The growth of the market in is attributed to the rapidly expanding manufacturing sector and investments in PV production.

 Figure 1. Global Copper Sputtering Target Market Share (%), by Region, 2023

 | Coherent Market Insights

Copper Sputtering Target Market Drivers:

  • Growing Demand from Electrical & Electronics Industry: The electrical and electronics industry is the major end-user of copper sputtering targets, driven by the increasing use of copper interconnects in semiconductors and printed circuit boards. The high electrical and thermal conductivity of copper has led to its increased adoption over traditional aluminum and gold interconnects in chips and PCBs. The rising complexity and miniaturization of electronic devices is leading to higher integration and performance requirements, which is further driving the demand for copper sputter targets. Moreover, the growing electronics market globally, especially across emerging economies, presents significant opportunities for market growth.
  • Increasing Use of Copper in Solar Photovoltaics: Copper plays a critical role in photovoltaic cell manufacturing, where it is used as an electrical conductor and for metallization of silicon wafers. The strong shift towards renewable solar energy across the globe is a major factor spurring the demand for copper sputter targets. Copper has excellent electrical conductivity and proves more efficient than aluminum for metallization in crystalline silicon solar cells. Additionally, the superior optical reflectance of copper increases the efficiency of thin-film solar cells. The declining costs of PV modules coupled with supportive government policies for solar adoption will further propel the application of copper sputtering technology in the solar industry.
  • Growth in Flat Panel Display and Semiconductor Industries: The expanding flat panel display (FPD) and semiconductor industries are among the leading growth drivers for the copper sputter target market. Copper is increasingly being used for metallization in liquid crystal displays and OLED displays, replacing aluminum due to its lower resistivity. The growing market for larger, high-resolution displays in smartphones, TVs, monitors, etc. will significantly increase the adoption of copper sputtering targets. Furthermore, the rising demand for semiconductors in AI, 5G, IoT and automotive applications is fueling the need for high-purity copper sputter targets for metallization and interconnects in chips.
  • Advantages over Evaporation Technology: The inherent benefits of the sputtering process over traditional thermal evaporation have boosted the uptake of copper sputtering targets. Sputtering enables more uniform and consistent coating thickness, along with higher purity levels. The rise of advanced sputtering technologies like magnetron sputtering has further improved deposition rates, throughput and efficacy in applying copper coatings on substrates. This has widened the application landscape for copper sputtering targets beyond electronics into other areas like automotive glazing, drug delivery and more.

Copper Sputtering Target Market Opportunities:

  • Growing Demand from Emerging Nations: Developing economies in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East represent significant avenues of growth for copper sputtering target manufacturers. These regions are witnessing rapid industrialization, urbanization and increasing disposal incomes, which is driving substantial investments into construction, infrastructure, electronics manufacturing and automotive production. This, in turn, will generate substantial demand for copper sputtering technology and associated equipment & targets for decorative coatings, EMI shielding, metallization and other applications. Market players can tap into the high-volume sales potential offered by emerging economies.
  • Rising Electric Vehicle Production: The accelerating transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles globally is a lucrative prospect for copper sputtering target suppliers. EVs contain almost four times more copper than conventional cars due to their extensive use in traction motors, batteries, inverters, wiring and charging infrastructure. Copper plays a key role in enhancing efficiency and safety in EVs through heat dissipation in motors and power electronics. The surging EV demand will necessitate high-volume manufacturing using copper sputtering technology to coat component surfaces and interfaces. Strategic partnerships with automotive OEMs and battery manufacturers can help target firms capitalize on this opportunity.
  • Growing Applications in Magnetic Storage: The data explosion driven by the digital revolution across consumer and enterprise sectors is fueling the demand for high-capacity data storage solutions. This is driving the development of cutting-edge magnetic storage devices like hard disk drives using heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology. Copper sputtering targets are integral to depositing thin films of copper onto HAMR drive platters without impairing magnetic properties. The rising uptake of HAMR will significantly benefit sputtering target vendors. Moreover, the shift towards cloud computing and big data will sustain long-term opportunities in this area.
  • Rising Use in Nano Coatings: There is increasing adoption of copper sputtering technology to deposit functional nano coatings onto materials, leveraging copper’s conductivity and surface properties. Nano coatings enhance properties like adhesion, hardness, corrosion/scratch resistance, self-cleaning, anti-bacterial effects and more based on end use. Widening applications across automobile bodies, windows, biomedical implants, textiles, construction materials, industrial equipment etc. will spur demand for copper nano coatings, creating positive prospects for target manufacturers.

Copper Sputtering Target Market Trends:

  • Developments in Magnetron Sputtering: Magnetron sputtering techniques are undergoing continuous advances to enable precise control over film thickness, enhance deposition rates and improve target utilization. This includes the emerging use of high-power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS), which ionizes a larger fraction of sputtered atoms. HIPIMS provides denser and smoother copper coatings at lower temperatures. Moreover, advances like dual magnetron systems allow for alloying different metals, which expands sputtering applications. Such technology developments will support the rising adoption of copper magnetron sputtering.
  • Growing Use of High-Purity Targets: Applications like semiconductor fabrication and HAMR drives require copper sputtering targets with ultra-high purity levels up to 99.9999%. This necessitates advanced manufacturing and quality control processes. Target makers are increasingly developing higher purity targets through techniques like vacuum arc melting, electroslag remelting and zone refining to reduce impurities. The adoption of high-purity targets ensures optimal electrical, thermal and mechanical performance of copper sputtered films, driving market revenues.
  • Rising Demand for Customized Targets: With widening use cases, there is increasing demand for application-specific copper targets tailored to individual customer requirements in terms of size, purity, grain structure, bonding layer etc. Custom targets allow optimizing the sputtering process for factors like film stress, deposition rate and adhesion. Target suppliers are equipping their R&D and manufacturing facilities to provide customized target shapes, compositions and sizes. This provides them opportunities to upsell specialized high-value offerings to customers.
  • Technology Integration across Industries: The convergence of technologies across sectors like electronics, telecom, automotive, healthcare etc. is expanding the application scope of copper sputtering. For instance, the integration of electronics in vehicles for automation and connectivity will drive automotive copper demand. Similarly, wearable medical devices require copper coatings for flexibility and biocompatibility. Target manufacturers can leverage cross-industry partnerships and supply chain networks to tap into emerging use cases and deliver integrated technology solutions.

Copper Sputtering Target Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 3.69 Bn
Historical Data for: 2018 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 to 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 19.4% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 12.77 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa:  GCC Countries, Israel,  South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa and Rest of Middle East
Segments covered:
  • By Application: Semiconductor, Solar Energy, Flat Panel Display, Architectural Glass, Data Storage, Others
  • By End Use Industry: Electrical & Electronics, Automotive, Aerospace & Defense, Medical, Renewable Energy, Decorative Coatings, Others 
Companies covered:

JX Nippon Mining, Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co. Ltd., Ultimo Technology Co. Ltd., ULVAC Technologies, Inc., KFMI Corporation, Plasmaterials Inc., Tosoh SMD Inc., Kurt J Lesker Company, Testbourne Ltd, Praxair S.T Technology, Inc.

Growth Drivers:
  • Growing demand from electrical & electronics industry 
  • Increasing application in semiconductor industry
  • Rising demand for flat panel displays  
  • High purity and uniformity requirements
Restraints & Challenges:
  • High equipment and raw material cost
  • Requirement of skilled labor
  • Slowdown in semiconductor industry growth

 Copper Sputtering Target Market Restraints:

  • High Initial Investment Requirements: The significant capital investment required to set up sputtering equipment for R&D and production is a key barrier to technology adoption. The complex vacuum systems, pumping systems, cooling systems and peripheral components add to equipment costs. Moreover, external peripheral systems needed to generate the plasma and magnetically enhance it adds to expenses. The high cost of automated sputtering systems makes feasibility a challenge for many end-users and limits mass commercialization.
  • Complex Manufacturing Process: The intricate manufacturing and quality control processes involved in copper target production add to lead times and costs. Steps like ingot casting, hot rolling, cold rolling, final machining and finishing require extensive infrastructure and skilled labor. Moreover, achieving the purity levels and material properties needed for functional coatings adds complexity. This makes the targets expensive, hampering wider-scale adoption among end-users and restricting market growth.
  • Requirement of Skilled Workforce: The operation and maintenance of modern sputtering equipment and systems necessitates trained technicians with specialized expertise. However, there is an acute shortage of qualified engineers and operators, especially in developing regions. The high degree of manual monitoring, troubleshooting and optimization required during the sputtering process increases dependence on skilled workers. The lack of an experienced workforce will hinder the expansion plans of equipment makers and target suppliers.

Recent Developments

New product launches

  • In January 2022, Testbourne Ltd launched a new range of high purity copper sputtering targets specifically for HAMR HDD production. The new targets provide the ultra-high purity and uniform grain structure required for high storage density HAMR media.
  • In June 2021, Plasmaterials Inc. introduced the new extra-large Cu sputtering target with dimensions of 550 x 1250 mm to enable coating larger substrate sizes. The jumbo target is ideal for high volume production in PV and display applications.
  • In May 2020, Kurt J Lesker released a new cylindrical rotatable magnetron copper target for uniform erosion and enhanced target utilization. The patented design enables 360-degree rotation for consistent film thickness and composition.

Acquisition and partnerships

  • In March 2022, Praxair announced a strategic supply agreement with Samsung Electronics to provide high-purity Cu sputtering targets for semiconductor manufacturing. This strengthened Praxair's position as a key supplier to Samsung's global operations.
  • In January 2021, ULVAC Technologies acquired the Metals and Materials Business Division of Nisshin Seifun Group to enhance its sputtering target product portfolio. The acquisition expanded ULVAC's production capacity to meet rising demand.
  • In October 2020, JX Nippon Mining partnered with automobile glass manufacturer AGC to develop a new type of transparent EMI shielding glass using a copper film deposited via sputtering technology. This enables wider application in electric and autonomous vehicles.

Figure 2. Global Copper Sputtering Target Market Share (%), by Application, 2023

 | Coherent Market Insights

Top companies in Copper Sputtering Target Market

  • JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation
  • Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co. Ltd.
  • Ultimo Technology Co. Ltd.
  • ULVAC Technologies, Inc.
  • KFMI Corporation
  • Plasmaterials Inc.
  • Tosoh SMD Inc.
  • Kurt J Lesker Company
  • Testbourne Ltd
  • Praxair S.T Technology, Inc.

*Definition: The copper sputtering target market refers to the industry and global demand for high purity copper material targets/cathodes used in the physical vapor deposition process of sputtering to deposit thin films of copper onto substrates like semiconductors, solar cells, displays, automotive parts, and more. Copper is an ideal sputtering material owing to its high electrical and thermal conductivity, ductility, and corrosion resistance. The copper sputtering process finds critical applications across electronics, optoelectronics, energy, automotive, healthcare, and other sectors.

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Frequently Asked Questions

High initial investments, complex manufacturing process, requirement of skilled workforce, volatility in commodity prices.

Growing demand from electrical & electronics industry, increasing use in photovoltaics and EVs, need for high-purity uniform coatings, advantages over evaporation technology.

The leading component segment is semiconductors due to the high use of copper interconnects in chips and ICs.

JX Nippon Mining, Mitsui Mining & Smelting, Ultimo Technology, ULVAC Technologies, KFMI Corporation, Plasmaterials, Tosoh SMD, Kurt J Lesker, Testbourne, Praxair S.T Technology.

The Asia Pacific region is expected to lead the copper sputtering target market during the forecast period.
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