Origins of ion energy distribution function (IEDF) in high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS) plasma discharge

HECIMOVIC, A., BURCALOVA, K. and EHIASARIAN, A. P. (2008). Origins of ion energy distribution function (IEDF) in high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS) plasma discharge. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 41 (9).

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Link to published version:: 10.1088/0022-3727/41/9/095203

Abstract

The ion energy distribution function (IEDF) in high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS) discharges was studied by plasma sampling energy-resolved mass spectroscopy. HIPIMS of chromium (Cr), titanium (Ti) and carbon ( C) targets in argon (Ar) atmosphere was analysed. Singly and doubly charged ions of both the target and the gas were detected. Time-averaged IEDFs were measured for all detected ions at the substrate position at a distance of 150mm from the target. The effects of target current and discharge pressure on the IEDF were investigated. Measurements were done at two pressures and for three peak discharge currents. The IEDF of both the target and the gas ions was found to comprise two Maxwellian distributions. Quantitative analysis of target IEDFs at a low pressure showed that the main peak had a lower average energy with an approximate value of E-AV = 1 eV which is attributed to collisions with thermalized gas atoms and ions. The higher energy distribution has a tail extending up to 70 eV, which is assumed to originate from a Thompson distribution of sputtered metal atoms which, due to collisions, are thermalized and appear as a Maxwell distribution. The proportion of high energy IEDFs for metal ions increases monotonically as a function of Id. The effective ion temperature k(B)T, extracted from the main low energy peak, showed a weak dependence on peak current. The effective ion temperature extracted from the high energy tail showed a strong correlation with the change in Id. The IEDF at high pressure shows that a proportion of high energy IEDFs was very low and dominated by a low energy main peak. The gas IEDF at high pressure was completely thermalized. The metal-ion-to-gas-ion ratio was found to increase with Id and with the sputtering yield of the target material.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Thin Films Research Centre > Nanotechnology Centre for PVD Research
Identification Number: 10.1088/0022-3727/41/9/095203
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2010 17:11
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2010 12:56
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1194

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