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Gold sputtering target is used for standard scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coating. It is utilized to cover as specimen with a thin layer of conducting material viz. gold. It is needed to prevent charging of specimen with an electron beam in conventional SEM mode as well as to increase signal to noise ratio.
Bonta, M.; Lohninger, H.; Marchetti-Deschmann, M.; Limbeck, A. Application of gold thin-films for internal standardization in LA-ICP-MS imaging experiments. Analyst 2014, 139 (6), 1521-1531.
Ishida, Y.; Sumi, T.; Yonezawa, T. Sputtering Synthesis and Optical Investigation of Octadecanethiol-Protected Fluorescent Au Nanoparticles. New J. Chem. 2015, 39, 5895-5897.