A method for forming a supported thin layer of non-evaporable getter (NEG) material and a getter device formed thereby are provided. A suspension comprised of non-evaporable getter (NEG) material particles in a dispersing medium is prepared. The NEG material particles in the suspension have a particle size not greater than about 150 .mu.m. The dispersing medium has an aqueous, alcoholic, or hydroalcoholic base and contains not more than about 1 wt % of organic compounds having a boiling temperature of at least about 250.degree. C. The ratio of the weight of the NEG material particles to the weight of the dispersing medium is between about 4:1 and about 1:1. A layer of the suspension is deposited on a carrier by a serigraphic technique. Next, the deposited layer is dried to evaporate volatile components of the dispersing medium and thereby form a dried deposit. Finally, the dried deposit is sintered under vacuum at a temperature between about 800.degree. C. and 1000.degree. C. with a surface of the dried deposit covered with a refractory material to inhibit scaling. Getter devices formed in accordance with this method also are provided.