Sputter coating is a deposition process to cover a specimen with a thin layer of conducting material. A conductive coating is needed to prevent charging of a specimen with an electron beam in conventional SEM mode (high vacuum, high voltage).
This high resolution sputter coater is used for high magnification (>100,000X) imaging in order to avoid artifacts produced by gold coater. It can be programmed to deposit metal within 0.1nm thickness. It is only to be used to coat samples for SEM, and never to coat thicker than 3 nm.
The gold coater is used to coat SEM samples with a conductive layer of gold to avoid charging artifacts during imaging. It is used for the majority of samples under 100,000X magnification. Metallic deposition thickness is controlled by time and voltage.