Special Issue "Advanced Strategies in Thin Film Engineering by Magnetron Sputtering"

A special issue of Coatings (ISSN 2079-6412).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Alberto Palmero

Spanish Council of Research (CSIC), Institute of Materials Science of Seville (CSIC/US), Américo Vespucio 49, 41092 Seville, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: thin film growth; atomistic processes; porous thin films; oblique angle deposition; magnetron sputtering; physical vapor deposition
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Nicolas Martin

FEMTO-ST Institute,University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté,15B avenue des montboucons,25030 Besancon Cedex, France
Website | E-Mail
Interests: physics of metallic and ceramic thin films; reactive sputtering; glancing angle deposition; electronic transport properties

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recent years have witnessed the flourishing of numerous novel strategies based on the magnetron sputtering technique aimed at the advanced engineering of thin films, such as HiPIMS, combined vacuum processes, the implementation of complex precursor gases or the inclusion of particle guns in the reactor, among others. At the forefront of these approaches, investigations focused on nanostructured coatings appear today as one of the priorities in many scientific and technological communities: The science behind them appears in most of the cases as a "terra incognita", fascinating both the fundamentalist, who imagines new concepts, and the experimenter, who is able to create and study new films with as of yet unprecedented performances. These scientific and technological challenges, along with the existence of numerous scientific issues that have yet to be clarified in classical magnetron sputtering depositions (e.g., process control and stability, nanostructuration mechanisms, connection between film morphology and properties or upscaling procedures from the laboratory to industrial scales) have motivated us to edit a specialized volume containing the state-of-the art that put together these innovative fundamental and applied research topics. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Nanostructure-related properties;
  • Atomistic processes during film growth;
  • Process control, process stability, and in situ diagnostics;
  • Fundamentals and applications of HiPIMS;
  • Thin film nanostructuration phenomena;
  • Tribological, anticorrosion, and mechanical properties;
  • Combined procedures based on the magnetron sputtering technique;
  • Industrial applications;
  • Devices.

Prof. Dr. Alberto Palmero
Prof. Dr. Nicolas Martin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Coatings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Magnetron sputtering
  • Nanostructures
  • Growth mechanism
  • Functional properties
  • HiPIMS

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Experimental and Modeling Study of the Fabrication of Mg Nano-Sculpted Films by Magnetron Sputtering Combined with Glancing Angle Deposition
Coatings 2019, 9(6), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9060361
Received: 5 May 2019 / Revised: 25 May 2019 / Accepted: 27 May 2019 / Published: 1 June 2019
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Abstract
Today, Mg is foreseen as one of the most promising materials for hydrogen storage when prepared as nano-objects. In this context, we have studied the fabrication of Mg nano-sculpted thin films by magnetron sputtering deposition in glancing angle configuration. It is demonstrated that [...] Read more.
Today, Mg is foreseen as one of the most promising materials for hydrogen storage when prepared as nano-objects. In this context, we have studied the fabrication of Mg nano-sculpted thin films by magnetron sputtering deposition in glancing angle configuration. It is demonstrated that the microstructure of the material is controllable by tuning important deposition parameters such as the tilt angle or the deposition pressure which both strongly affect the shadowing effect during deposition. As an example, the angle formed by the column and the substrate and the intercolumnar space varies between ~20° to ~50° and ~45 to ~120 nm, respectively, when increasing the tilt angle from 60° to 90°. These observations are highlighted by modeling the growth of the material using kinetic Monte Carlo methods which highlights the role of surface diffusion during the synthesis of the coating. This work is a first step towards the development of an air-stable material for hydrogen storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Strategies in Thin Film Engineering by Magnetron Sputtering)
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Open AccessArticle
Nickel Film Deposition with Varying RF Power for the Reduction of Contact Resistance in NiSi
Coatings 2019, 9(6), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9060349
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 23 May 2019 / Accepted: 27 May 2019 / Published: 28 May 2019
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Abstract
In this study, the effect of radio frequency (RF) power on nickel (Ni) film deposition was studied to investigate the applications of lowering the contact resistance in the NiSi/Si junction. The RF powers of 100, 150, and 200 W were used for the [...] Read more.
In this study, the effect of radio frequency (RF) power on nickel (Ni) film deposition was studied to investigate the applications of lowering the contact resistance in the NiSi/Si junction. The RF powers of 100, 150, and 200 W were used for the deposition of the Ni film on an n/p silicon substrate. RMS roughnesses of 1.354, 1.174 and 1.338 nm were obtained at 100, 150, and 200 W, respectively. A circular transmission line model (CTLM) pattern was used to obtain the contact resistance for three different RF-power-deposited films. The lowest contact resistivity of 5.84 × 10−5 Ω-cm2 was obtained for the NiSi/n-Si substrate for Ni film deposited at 150 W RF power. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Strategies in Thin Film Engineering by Magnetron Sputtering)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Gas Sensing with Nanoplasmonic Thin Films Composed of Nanoparticles (Au, Ag) Dispersed in a CuO Matrix
Coatings 2019, 9(5), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9050337
Received: 6 May 2019 / Revised: 22 May 2019 / Accepted: 23 May 2019 / Published: 25 May 2019
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Abstract
Magnetron sputtered nanocomposite thin films composed of monometallic Au and Ag, and bimetallic Au-Ag nanoparticles, dispersed in a CuO matrix, were prepared, characterized, and tested, which aimed to find suitable nano-plasmonic platforms capable of detecting the presence of gas molecules. The Localized Surface [...] Read more.
Magnetron sputtered nanocomposite thin films composed of monometallic Au and Ag, and bimetallic Au-Ag nanoparticles, dispersed in a CuO matrix, were prepared, characterized, and tested, which aimed to find suitable nano-plasmonic platforms capable of detecting the presence of gas molecules. The Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance phenomenon, LSPR, induced by the morphological changes of the nanoparticles (size, shape, and distribution), and promoted by the thermal annealing of the films, was used to tailor the sensitivity to the gas molecules. Results showed that the monometallic films, Au:CuO and Ag:CuO, present LSPR bands at ~719 and ~393 nm, respectively, while the bimetallic Au-Ag:CuO film has two LSPR bands, which suggests the presence of two noble metal phases. Through transmittance-LSPR measurements, the bimetallic films revealed to have the highest sensitivity to the refractive index changes, as well as high signal-to-noise ratios, respond consistently to the presence of a test gas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Strategies in Thin Film Engineering by Magnetron Sputtering)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Seebeck Coefficient of Sputter Deposited Metallic Thin Films: The Role of Process Conditions
Coatings 2019, 9(5), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9050299
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 25 April 2019 / Accepted: 26 April 2019 / Published: 1 May 2019
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Abstract
Because of their reduced dimensions and mass, thin film thermocouples are a promising candidate for embedded sensors in composite materials, especially for application in lightweight and smart structures. The sensitivity of the thin film thermocouple depends however on the process conditions during deposition. [...] Read more.
Because of their reduced dimensions and mass, thin film thermocouples are a promising candidate for embedded sensors in composite materials, especially for application in lightweight and smart structures. The sensitivity of the thin film thermocouple depends however on the process conditions during deposition. In this work, the influence of the discharge current and residual gas impurities on the Seebeck coefficient is experimentally investigated for sputter deposited copper and constantan thin films. The influence of the layer thickness on the film Seebeck coefficient is also discussed. Our observations indicate that both a decreasing discharge current or an increasing background pressure results in a growing deviation of the film Seebeck coefficient compared to its bulk value. Variations in discharge current or background pressure are linked as they both induce a variation in the ratio between the impurity flux to metal flux towards the growing film. This latter parameter is considered a quantitative measure for the background residual gas incorporation in the film and is known to act as a grain refiner. The observed results emphasize the importance of the domain size on the Seebeck coefficient of metallic thin films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Strategies in Thin Film Engineering by Magnetron Sputtering)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Correlative Experimental and Theoretical Investigation of the Angle-Resolved Composition Evolution of Thin Films Sputtered from a Compound Mo2BC Target
Coatings 2019, 9(3), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9030206
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 22 March 2019
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Abstract
The angle-resolved composition evolution of Mo-B-C thin films deposited from a Mo2BC compound target was investigated experimentally and theoretically. Depositions were carried out by direct current magnetron sputtering (DCMS) in a pressure range from 0.09 to 0.98 Pa in Ar and [...] Read more.
The angle-resolved composition evolution of Mo-B-C thin films deposited from a Mo2BC compound target was investigated experimentally and theoretically. Depositions were carried out by direct current magnetron sputtering (DCMS) in a pressure range from 0.09 to 0.98 Pa in Ar and Kr. The substrates were placed at specific angles α with respect to the target normal from 0 to ±67.5°. A model based on TRIDYN and SIMTRA was used to calculate the influence of the sputtering gas on the angular distribution function of the sputtered species at the target, their transport through the gas phase, and film composition. Experimental pressure- and sputtering gas-dependent thin film chemical composition data are in good agreement with simulated angle-resolved film composition data. In Ar, the pressure-induced film composition variations at a particular α are within the error of the EDX measurements. On the contrary, an order of magnitude increase in Kr pressure results in an increase of the Mo concentration measured at α = 0° from 36 at.% to 43 at.%. It is shown that the mass ratio between sputtering gas and sputtered species defines the scattering angle within the collision cascades in the target, as well as for the collisions in the gas phase, which in turn defines the angle- and pressure-dependent film compositions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Strategies in Thin Film Engineering by Magnetron Sputtering)
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Open AccessArticle
Electrochemical Stability Enhancement in Reactive Magnetron Sputtered VN Films upon Annealing Treatment
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 23 January 2019 / Published: 25 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1616 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vanadium nitride (VN) thin films were produced via direct-current reactive magnetron sputtering technique followed by vacuum annealing. The treatment was carried out at different temperatures for any effect on their electrochemical (EC) stability, up to 10,000 charge–discharge cycles in 0.5 M K2 [...] Read more.
Vanadium nitride (VN) thin films were produced via direct-current reactive magnetron sputtering technique followed by vacuum annealing. The treatment was carried out at different temperatures for any effect on their electrochemical (EC) stability, up to 10,000 charge–discharge cycles in 0.5 M K2SO4 solution. The film surface chemistry was investigated by using X-ray photoelectron spectroscope (XPS) and cyclic voltammetry (CV) techniques. For the as-deposited film, the oxide layer formed on the VN surface was unstable upon K2SO4 immersion treatment, along with ~23% reduction in the EC capacitance. Vacuum annealing under optimized conditions, however, made the oxide layer stable with almost no capacitance loss upon cycling for up to 10,000 cycles. Annealing treatment of the VN films makes them a potential candidate for long-term use in electrochemical capacitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Strategies in Thin Film Engineering by Magnetron Sputtering)
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