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Open AccessArticle

A Parametric Three-Dimensional Phase-Field Study of the Physical Vapor Deposition Process of Metal Thin Films Aiming at Quantitative Simulations

1
State Key Lab of Powder Metallurgy, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
2
Institute of Nuclear Physics and Chemistry, China Academy of Engineering Physics, Mianyang 621900, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2019, 9(10), 607; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9100607
Received: 4 September 2019 / Revised: 17 September 2019 / Accepted: 19 September 2019 / Published: 25 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Vapor Deposition)
In this paper, a parametric three-dimensional (3D) phase-field study of the physical vapor deposition process of metal thin films was performed aiming at quantitative simulations. The effect of deposition rate and model parameters on the microstructure of deposited thin films was investigated based on more than 200 sets of 3D phase-field simulations, and a quantitative relationship between the deposition rate and model parameters was established. After that, the heat maps corresponding to the experimental atomic force microscopy images were plotted for characterization of the surface roughness. Different roughness parameters including the arithmetic average roughness (Ra), root mean square roughness (Rq), skewness (Rsk), and kurtosis (Rku), as well as the ratio of Rq to Ra were calculated and carefully analyzed. A quantitative relationship between the surface roughness and the deposition rate and model parameters was obtained. Moreover, the calculated Rq to Ra ratios for the thin films at the deposition rates of 0.22 and 1.0 nm s−1 agreed very well with the experimental data of the deposited Mo and Ti thin films. Finally, further discussion about the correlative behaviors between the surface roughness and the density was proposed for reasoning the shadowing effect as well as the formation of voids during the thin film production. View Full-Text
Keywords: phase-field modeling; physical vapor deposition; microstructure; deposition rate; surface roughness phase-field modeling; physical vapor deposition; microstructure; deposition rate; surface roughness
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Yang, S.; Zhong, J.; Chen, M.; Zhang, L. A Parametric Three-Dimensional Phase-Field Study of the Physical Vapor Deposition Process of Metal Thin Films Aiming at Quantitative Simulations. Coatings 2019, 9, 607.

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