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The Effect of Magnetic Field Strength and Geometry on the Deposition Rate and Ionized Flux Fraction in the HiPIMS Discharge

1
Science Institute, University of Iceland, Dunhaga 3, IS-107 Reykjavik, Iceland
2
Laboratoire de Physique des Gaz et Plasmas—LPGP, UMR 8578 CNRS, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris Saclay, 91405 Orsay CEDEX, France
3
Institute of Physics v. v. i., Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Na Slovance 2, 182 21 Prague 8, Czech Republic
4
Department of Space and Plasma Physics, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
5
Plasma and Coatings Physics Division, IFM-Materials Physics, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plasma 2019, 2(2), 201-221; https://doi.org/10.3390/plasma2020015
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 25 April 2019 / Accepted: 6 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Latest Developments in Pulsed Low-Temperature Plasmas)
We explored the effect of magnetic field strength | B | and geometry (degree of balancing) on the deposition rate and ionized flux fraction F flux in dc magnetron sputtering (dcMS) and high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) when depositing titanium. The HiPIMS discharge was run in two different operating modes. The first one we refer to as “fixed voltage mode” where the cathode voltage was kept fixed at 625 V while the pulse repetition frequency was varied to achieve the desired time average power (300 W). The second mode we refer to as “fixed peak current mode” and was carried out by adjusting the cathode voltage to maintain a fixed peak discharge current and by varying the frequency to achieve the same average power. Our results show that the dcMS deposition rate was weakly sensitive to variations in the magnetic field while the deposition rate during HiPIMS operated in fixed voltage mode changed from 30% to 90% of the dcMS deposition rate as | B | decreased. In contrast, when operating the HiPIMS discharge in fixed peak current mode, the deposition rate increased only slightly with decreasing | B | . In fixed voltage mode, for weaker | B | , the higher was the deposition rate, the lower was the F flux . In the fixed peak current mode, both deposition rate and F flux increased with decreasing | B | . Deposition rate uniformity measurements illustrated that the dcMS deposition uniformity was rather insensitive to changes in | B | while both HiPIMS operating modes were highly sensitive. The HiPIMS deposition rate uniformity could be 10% lower or up to 10% higher than the dcMS deposition rate uniformity depending on | B | and in particular the magnetic field topology. We related the measured quantities, the deposition rate and ionized flux fraction, to the ionization probability α t and the back attraction probability of the sputtered species β t . We showed that the fraction of the ions of the sputtered material that escape back attraction increased by 30% when | B | was reduced during operation in fixed peak current mode while the ionization probability of the sputtered species increased with increasing | B | , due to increased discharge current, when operating in fixed voltage mode. View Full-Text
Keywords: ionized physical vapor deposition; magnetron sputtering; high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS); ionized flux fraction; deposition rate ionized physical vapor deposition; magnetron sputtering; high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS); ionized flux fraction; deposition rate
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Hajihoseini, H.; Čada, M.; Hubička, Z.; Ünaldi, S.; Raadu, M.A.; Brenning, N.; Gudmundsson, J.T.; Lundin, D. The Effect of Magnetic Field Strength and Geometry on the Deposition Rate and Ionized Flux Fraction in the HiPIMS Discharge. Plasma 2019, 2, 201-221.

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