High power impulse magnetron sputtering: Current-voltage-time characteristics indicate the onset of sustained self-sputtering

ANDERS, A., ANDERSSON, J. and EHIASARIAN, A. P. (2007). High power impulse magnetron sputtering: Current-voltage-time characteristics indicate the onset of sustained self-sputtering. Journal of Applied Physics, 102 (11).

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Link to published version:: 10.1063/1.2817812

Abstract

The commonly used current-voltage characteristics are found inadequate for describing the pulsed nature of the high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS) discharge; rather, the description needs to be expanded to current-voltage-time characteristics for each initial gas pressure. Using different target materials (Cu, Ti, Nb, C, W, Al, and Cr) and a pulsed constant-voltage supply, it is shown that the HIPIMS discharges typically exhibit an initial pressure dependent current peak followed by a second phase that is power and material dependent. This suggests that the initial phase of a HIPIMS discharge pulse is dominated by gas ions, whereas the later phase has a strong contribution from self-sputtering. For some materials, the discharge switches into a mode of sustained self-sputtering. The very large differences between materials cannot be ascribed to the different sputter yields but they indicate that generation and trapping of secondary electrons play a major role for current-voltage-time characteristics. In particular, it is argued that the sustained self-sputtering phase is associated with the generation of multiply charged ions because only they can cause potential emission of secondary electrons, whereas the yield caused by singly charged metal ions is negligibly small. (C) 2007 American Institute of Physics.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Thin Films Research Centre > Nanotechnology Centre for PVD Research
Identification Number: 10.1063/1.2817812
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2010 16:30
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2010 16:30
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1185

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