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Understanding deposition rate loss in high power impulse magnetron sputtering: I. Ionization-driven electric fields
Royal Institute Technology.
Royal Institute Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Plasma and Coating Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Royal Institute Technology.
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2012 (English)In: Plasma sources science & technology (Print), ISSN 0963-0252, E-ISSN 1361-6595, Vol. 21, no 2, 025005- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The lower deposition rate for high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) compared with direct current magnetron sputtering for the same average power is often reported as a drawback. The often invoked reason is back-attraction of ionized sputtered material to the target due to a substantial negative potential profile, sometimes called an extended presheath, from the location of ionization toward the cathode. Recent studies in HiPIMS devices, using floating-emitting and swept-Langmuir probes, show that such extended potential profiles do exist, and that the electric fields E-z directed toward the target can be strong enough to seriously reduce ion transport to the substrate. However, they also show that the potential drops involved can vary by up to an order of magnitude from case to case. There is a clear need to understand the underlying mechanisms and identify the key discharge variables that can be used for minimizing the back-attraction. We here present a combined theoretical and experimental analysis of the problem of electric fields E-z in the ionization region part of HiPIMS discharges, and their effect on the transport of ionized sputtered material. In particular, we have investigated the possibility of a sweet spot in parameter space in which the back-attraction of ionized sputtered material is low. It is concluded that a sweet spot might possibly exist for some carefully optimized discharges, but probably in a rather narrow window of parameters. As a measure of how far a discharge is from such a window, a Townsend product Pi(Townsend) is proposed. A parametric analysis of Pi(Townsend) shows that the search for a sweet spot is complicated by the fact that contradictory demands appear for several of the externally controllable parameters such as high/low working gas pressure, short/long pulse length, high/low pulse power and high/low magnetic field strength.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Physics , 2012. Vol. 21, no 2, 025005- p.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-77328DOI: 10.1088/0963-0252/21/2/025005ISI: 000302779400019OAI: diva2:526330
Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council||Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research||European Collaboration in Science and Technology (COST Action)|MP0804|ANR HiPPoPP (French Government Research Agency)||Romanian ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sport|IDEI 540/2009|Available from: 2012-05-11 Created: 2012-05-11 Last updated: 2013-10-30

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Lundin, DanielHelmersson, Ulf
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