After plating, the media-to-be is polished and sent to this room. Behind those windows stands the heart of this entire facility, a 16-step sputtering system that controls how magnetics are deposited on the disks. On the right, is a waist-height station for feeding the substrate disks into the sputtering system. This particular area offers plenty of recreational reading on the walls, a whole range of warning signs: hazardous voltages, crush hazards, entanglement hazards, and (my personal favorite) the warning about how the strong magnet inside the system could fritz your pacemaker. There’s also a red light hanging in one corner next to a sign that reads: “ALERT. FLAMMABLE GAS DETECTED WHEN LIGHT IS FLASHING.” Luckily, we all escaped unscathed.
For the photographically curious, I offer these two shots at slightly different angles. My image (center) offers a little peek at the front of the sputter system, but Gary’s image (left) illustrates the difference in clarity and quality you get with professional gear and the HDR process.