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Ion energy control via the electrical asymmetry effect to tune coating properties in reactive radio frequency sputtering
Ruhr Univ Bochum, Inst Elect Engn & Plasma Technol, Univ Str 150, D-44780 Bochum, Germany.
Ruhr Univ Bochum, Inst Mat, Chair MEMS Mat, Univ Str 150, D-44780 Bochum, Germany.
Rhein Westfal TH Aachen, Mat Chem, Kopernikusstr 10, D-52074 Aachen, Germany.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1814-3101
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5815-3742
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2019 (English)In: Plasma sources science & technology (Print), ISSN 0963-0252, E-ISSN 1361-6595, Vol. 28, no 11, article id 114001Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A knowledge-based understanding of the plasma-surface-interaction with the aim to precisely control (reactive) sputtering processes for the deposition of thin films with tailored and reproducible properties is highly desired for industrial applications. In order to understand the effect of plasma parameter variations on the film properties, a single plasma parameter needs to be varied, while all other process and plasma parameters should remain constant. In this work, we use the Electrical Asymmetry Effect in a multi-frequency capacitively coupled plasma to control the ion energy at the substrate without affecting the ion-to-growth flux ratio by adjusting the relative phase between two consecutive driving harmonics and their voltage amplitudes. Measurements of the ion energy distribution function and ion flux at the substrate by a retarding field energy analyzer combined with the determined deposition rate R-d for a reactive Ar/N-2 (8:1) plasma at 0.5 Pa show a possible variation of the mean ion energy at the substrate E-ig(m) within a range of 38 and 81 eV that allows the modification of the film characteristics at the grounded electrode, when changing the relative phase shift between the applied voltage frequencies, while the ion-to-growth flux ratio Gamma(ig)/Gamma(gr) can be kept constant. AlN thin films are deposited and exhibit an increase in compressive film stress from -5.8 to -8.4 GPa as well as an increase in elastic modulus from 175 to 224 GPa as a function of the mean ion energy. Moreover, a transition from the preferential orientation (002) at low ion energies to the (100), (101) and (110) orientations at higher ion energies is observed. In this way, the effects of the ion energy on the growing film are identified, while other process relevant parameters remain unchanged.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IOP PUBLISHING LTD , 2019. Vol. 28, no 11, article id 114001
Keywords [en]
voltage waveform tailoring, electrical asymmetry effect, plasma surface interaction, aluminium nitride, multi-frequency capacitively coupled plasmas, retarding field energy analyzer, plasma confinement
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-403260DOI: 10.1088/1361-6595/ab504bISI: 000505703800001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-403260DiVA, id: diva2:1388630
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2017-00646-9Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research , RIF14-0053Available from: 2020-01-27 Created: 2020-01-27 Last updated: 2020-01-27Bibliographically approved

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