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Optical Analysis of RF Sputtering Plasma through Colour Characterization

Centre for Advanced Materials, School of Engineering, London South Bank University, 103 Borough Road, London SE1 0AA, UK
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2019, 9(5), 315;
Received: 24 February 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 6 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
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The photometric properties of an radio frequency (RF)-based sputtering plasma source were monitored through optical spectroscopy. The colour of the plasma source was deduced based on conventional chromaticity index analysis and it was compared to the direct spectral data plots of the emission peaks to investigate the possibility of characterising the plasma based on its specific colour and exploring the potential of defining a new method by which the plasma sputtering process can be addressed based on the plasma colour parameters. The intention of this investigation is to evaluate the possibility of simplifying the monitoring and assessment of the sputtering process for applied scientists operating plasma sputter deposition systems. We demonstrate a viable potential for this technique in terms of providing information regarding the stability of the plasma, chamber pressure, and plasma power; however, further work is underway to verify and assess a relationship between the quality of the thin film coating and the colour characteristics of the deposition plasma. Here, we only focus on the feasibility of such an approach and demonstrate interesting observations. We observed a linear relationship between the colour functions and the plasma power, while the stability of the sputtering plasma can be assessed based on the plasma colour functions. The colour functions also follow a unique pattern when the working gas pressure is increased. View Full-Text
Keywords: sputtering; colour functions; plasma; TCO sputtering; colour functions; plasma; TCO

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Salimian, A.; Haghpanahan, R.; Hasnath, A.; Upadhyaya, H. Optical Analysis of RF Sputtering Plasma through Colour Characterization. Coatings 2019, 9, 315.

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