Development of an inductively coupled impulse sputtering source for coating deposition.

LOCH, Daniel Alexander Llewellyn. (2015). Development of an inductively coupled impulse sputtering source for coating deposition. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

In recent years, highly ionised pulsed plasma processes have had a great impact on improving the coating performance of various applications, such as for cutting tools and ITO coatings, allowing for a longer service life and improved defect densities. These improvements stem from the higher ionisation degree of the sputtered material in these processes and with this the possibility of controlling the flux of sputtered material, allowing the regulation of the hardness and density of coatings and the ability to sputter onto complex contoured substrates. The development of Inductively Coupled Impulse Sputtering (ICIS) is aimed at the potential of utilising the advantages of highly ionised plasma for the sputtering of ferromagnetic material. In traditional magnetron based sputter processes ferromagnetic materials would shunt the magnetic field of the magnetron, thus reducing the sputter yield and ionisation efficiency. By generating the plasma within a high power pulsed radio frequency (RF) driven coil in front of the cathode, it is possible to remove the need for a magnetron by applying a high voltage pulsed direct current to the cathode attracting argon ions from the plasma to initiate sputtering. This is the first time that ICIS technology has been deployed in a sputter coating system. To study the characteristics of ICIS, current and voltage waveforms have been measured to examine the effect of increasing RF-power. Plasma analysis has been conducted by optical emission spectroscopy to investigate the excitation mechanisms and the emission intensity. These are correlated to the set RF-power by modelling assumptions based on electron collisions. Mass spectroscopy is used to measure the plasma potential and ion energy distribution function. Pure copper, titanium and nickel coatings have been deposited on silicon with high aspect ratio via to measure the deposition rate and characterise the microstructure. For titanium and nickel the emission modelling results are in good agreement with the model expectations showing that electron collisions are the main excitation mechanism. The plasma potential was measured as 20 eV, this is an ideal level for good adatom mobility with reduced lattice defects. All surfaces in the via were coated, perpendicular column growth on the sidewalls indicates a predominantly ionised metal flux to the substrate and the deposition rates agree with the literature value of the sputter yield of the materials. The results of the studies show that ICIS is a viable process for the deposition of magnetic coatings with high ionisation in the plasma.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2015.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:20
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2018 06:09
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19976

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