Nickel coatings by Inductively Coupled Impulse Sputtering (ICIS)

LOCH, Daniel A.L., GONZALVO, Yolanda A. and EHIASARIAN, Arutiun P. (2015). Nickel coatings by Inductively Coupled Impulse Sputtering (ICIS). Surface and coatings technology, 267, 98-104.

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Inductively Coupled Impulse Sputtering (ICIS) removes the need for a magnetron, whilst delivering equal or higher ion-to-neutral ratios compared to other ionised PVD technologies such as High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HIPIMS). This is especially advantageous for the sputtering of magnetic materials, as these would shunt the magnetic field of the magnetron, thus reducing the efficiency of the sputtering and ionisation process. ICIS produces highly ionised metal-dominated plasma inside a high power pulsed RF-coil with a magnet free high voltage pulsed DC powered cathode. ICIS operation with magnetic target materials has not been attempted so far. The paper aims to clarify the effects of power and pressure on the chemistry of the deposition flux and is the first investigation of the microstructure of ICIS deposited coatings. Modelling based on the intensity of the optical emission spectra (OES) is conducted for the first time on the excited species of Ni and Ar in relation to the applied RF-power. Sputtered species show a linear intensity increase for increasing peak RF-power and constant process gas pressure. The influence of increasing process gas pressure on the ionisation was studied at a constant peak RF-power for pressures. For pressures below 8 Pa the intensity rises, but then remains constant for pressures up to 26 Pa. The microstructure of Ni coatings shows columnar dendritic or globular growth depending on the ionisation degree. In relation to the film thickness on the top of the substrate, the bottom coverage of unbiased vias with an aspect ratio of 4:1 was 15% and for lower aspect ratios of 1.5:1 was 47.5%. The current work has shown that the concept of combining a pulsed RF driven coil with a magnet-free pulsed DC powered cathode works well for the sputtering of magnetic material in a stable plasma.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Selected Paper from The Society of Vacuum Coater's 57th Annual Technical Conference
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Advanced Coatings and Composites Research Centre
Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Advanced Coatings and Composites Research Centre > Nanotechnology Centre for PVD Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: 98-104
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2015 16:30
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 06:09

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