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Simulation and Optimization of Film Thickness Uniformity in Physical Vapor Deposition

School of OptoElectronic Engineering, Changchun University of the Science and Technology, Changchun 130022, China
Institute of Thin Films, Sensors and Imaging, School of Engineering and Computing, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley PA1 2BE, UK
School of Material Science and Engineering, Chongqing University of Science and Technology, Chongqing 401331, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2018, 8(9), 325;
Received: 8 July 2018 / Revised: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 16 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Optical Thin Film Coatings)
PDF [19136 KB, uploaded 20 September 2018]


Optimization of thin film uniformity is an important aspect for large-area coatings, particularly for optical coatings where error tolerances can be of the order of nanometers. Physical vapor deposition is a widely used technique for producing thin films. Applications include anti-reflection coatings, photovoltaics etc. This paper reviews the methods and simulations used for improving thin film uniformity in physical vapor deposition (both evaporation and sputtering), covering characteristic aspects of emission from material sources, projection/mask effects on film thickness distribution, as well as geometric and rotational influences from apparatus configurations. Following the review, a new program for modelling and simulating thin film uniformity for physical vapor deposition was developed using MathCAD. Results from the program were then compared with both known theoretical analytical equations of thickness distribution and experimental data, and found to be in good agreement. A mask for optimizing thin film thickness distribution designed using the program was shown to improve thickness uniformity from ±4% to ±0.56%. View Full-Text
Keywords: thin film uniformity; physical vapor deposition; thin film modelling; thickness distribution thin film uniformity; physical vapor deposition; thin film modelling; thickness distribution

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Wang, B.; Fu, X.; Song, S.; Chu, H.O.; Gibson, D.; Li, C.; Shi, Y.; Wu, Z. Simulation and Optimization of Film Thickness Uniformity in Physical Vapor Deposition. Coatings 2018, 8, 325.

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