Special Issue "Sputtering Technologies for Growth of Advanced Thin Film"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Thin Films".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 September 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Vitezslav Stranak Website E-Mail
Institute of Physics, University of South Bohemia, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
Interests: plasma-assisted deposition; magnetron sputtering; functional nanostructured surfaces; nanoparticles; low-temperature plasma
Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Robert Bogdanowicz Website E-Mail
Department of Metrology and Optoelectronics, Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics Gdansk University of Technology, Gdansk, Poland
Interests: CVD diamond; doped nanocarbons; electrochemical and optical sensors; conductive oxides; optical properties

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sputtering technologies were established decades ago as an effective tool for the deposition of thin films. Sputtering deposition includes a wide spectra of methods, utilizing eroded material from solid matter, which subsequently condensate onto a substrate forming thin films. Namely, magnetron sputtering and hollow cathode jets, operated either in continuous or pulse mode, represent most frequently used tools for deposition of unique, functional surfaces in research laboratories, as well as in industry. Due to the high versatility and rather easy construction, sputterings systems have become outstanding devices for research of thin films and functional surfaces. Advanced, nanostructured and functional surfaces have gained enormous importance in many (energy conversion, sensors, and enhanced detection, optical, bio-medical) applications. Furthermore, we can point out protective coatings, materials for the semiconductor industry, hydrophobic/hydrophilic structures, optics or unique catalytical devices. All these stimulate improving the current state-of-the-art and encourage looking for new methods, possibilities, and ideas. Challenging nanostructured surfaces, produced as laterally homogeneous films, ultra-thin 2D atom-aggregates and/or nanoparticles (of size 10 – 100 nm) incorporated into a material matrix, bring another novel dimension of the matter. In this exciting path of science, sputtering techniques, due to their physical principle, are typically first on the list for the research and tailoring of advanced thin films; often supported by computer modeling and simulations.

For these reasons, numerous interesting outputs, gained during the recent material research, should be spread to the community. It is our pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript to this Special Issue, focused on “Sputtering Technologies for Growth of Advanced Thin Films”. Full papers, communications, and reviews on the fabrication, properties, and applications of thin films, prepared by means of sputtering films, are all welcome. Further, we would appriciate contributions focused on advanced sputtering deposition systems (hybrid systems, co-deposition of aloys or multistructured films, combined PVD and PECVD) together with tailoring of film growth, including plasma diagnostics.

Assoc. Prof. Vitezslav Stranak
Assoc. Prof. Robert Bogdanowicz
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. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1800 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

  • sputtering
  • magnetron
  • hollow cathode jet
  • thin films
  • nanostructured surfaces
  • nanoparticles
  • core-shell nanoparticles
  • thin film processing
  • surface analyzes
  • sputtering and deposition systems
  • surface modification

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Evolution of the Internal Structure of Short-Period Cr/V Multilayers with Different Vanadium Layers Thicknesses
Materials 2019, 12(18), 2936; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12182936 - 11 Sep 2019
Abstract
Cr/V multilayer mirrors are suitable for applications in the “water window” spectral ranges. To study factors influencing the internal microstructure of Cr/V multilayers, multilayers with different vanadium layers thicknesses varying from 0.6 nm to 4.0 nm, and a fixed thickness (1.3 nm) of [...] Read more.
Cr/V multilayer mirrors are suitable for applications in the “water window” spectral ranges. To study factors influencing the internal microstructure of Cr/V multilayers, multilayers with different vanadium layers thicknesses varying from 0.6 nm to 4.0 nm, and a fixed thickness (1.3 nm) of chromium layers, were fabricated and characterized with a set of experimental techniques. The average interface width characterizing a cumulative effect of different structure irregularities was demonstrated to exhibit non-monotonous dependence on the V layer thickness and achieve a minimal value of 0.31 nm when the thickness of the V layers was 1.2 nm. The discontinuous growth of very thin V films increased in roughness as the thickness of V layers decreased. The columnar growth of the polycrystalline grains in both materials became more pronounced with increasing thickness, resulting in a continuous increase in the interface width to a maximum of 0.9 nm for a 4 nm thickness of the V layer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sputtering Technologies for Growth of Advanced Thin Film)
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Open AccessArticle
High-quality GeSn Layer with Sn Composition up to 7% Grown by Low-Temperature Magnetron Sputtering for Optoelectronic Application
Materials 2019, 12(17), 2662; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12172662 - 21 Aug 2019
Abstract
In this paper, a high-quality sputtered-GeSn layer on Ge (100) with a Sn composition up to 7% was demonstrated. The crystallinity of the GeSn layer was investigated via high-resolution X-ray diffraction (HR-XRD) and the strain relaxation degree of the GeSn layer was evaluated [...] Read more.
In this paper, a high-quality sputtered-GeSn layer on Ge (100) with a Sn composition up to 7% was demonstrated. The crystallinity of the GeSn layer was investigated via high-resolution X-ray diffraction (HR-XRD) and the strain relaxation degree of the GeSn layer was evaluated to be approximately 50%. A novel method was also proposed to evaluate the averaged threading dislocation densities (TDDs) in the GeSn layer, which was obtained from the rocking curve of GeSn layer along the (004) plane. The photoluminescence (PL) measurement result shows the significant optical emission (1870 nm) from the deposited high-quality GeSn layer. To verify whether our deposited GeSn can be used for optoelectronic devices, we fabricated the simple vertical p-i-n diode, and the room temperature current–voltage (I–V) characteristic was obtained. Our work paves the way for future sputtered-GeSn optimization, which is critical for optoelectronic applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sputtering Technologies for Growth of Advanced Thin Film)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Bias Voltage on Mechanical Properties of HiPIMS/RFMS Cosputtered Zr–Si–N Films
Materials 2019, 12(17), 2658; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12172658 - 21 Aug 2019
Abstract
Zr–Si–N films with atomic ratios of N/(Zr + Si) of 0.54–0.82 were fabricated through high-power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS)–radio-frequency magnetron sputtering (RFMS) cosputtering by applying an average HiPIMS power of 300 W on the Zr target, various RF power levels on the Si [...] Read more.
Zr–Si–N films with atomic ratios of N/(Zr + Si) of 0.54–0.82 were fabricated through high-power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS)–radio-frequency magnetron sputtering (RFMS) cosputtering by applying an average HiPIMS power of 300 W on the Zr target, various RF power levels on the Si target, and negative bias voltage levels of 0–150 V connected to the substrate holder. Applying a negative bias voltage on substrates enhanced the ion bombardment effect, which affected the chemical compositions, mechanical properties, and residual stress of the Zr–Si–N films. The results indicated that Zr–Si–N films with Si content ranging from 1.4 to 6.3 atom % exhibited a high hardness level of 33.2–34.6 GPa accompanied with a compressive stress of 4.3–6.4 GPa, an H/E* level of 0.080–0.107, an H3/E*2 level of 0.21–0.39 GPa, and an elastic recovery of 62–72%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sputtering Technologies for Growth of Advanced Thin Film)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Magnetron Sputtering of Polymeric Targets: From Thin Films to Heterogeneous Metal/Plasma Polymer Nanoparticles
Materials 2019, 12(15), 2366; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12152366 - 25 Jul 2019
Abstract
Magnetron sputtering is a well-known technique that is commonly used for the deposition of thin compact films. However, as was shown in the 1990s, when sputtering is performed at pressures high enough to trigger volume nucleation/condensation of the supersaturated vapor generated by the [...] Read more.
Magnetron sputtering is a well-known technique that is commonly used for the deposition of thin compact films. However, as was shown in the 1990s, when sputtering is performed at pressures high enough to trigger volume nucleation/condensation of the supersaturated vapor generated by the magnetron, various kinds of nanoparticles may also be produced. This finding gave rise to the rapid development of magnetron-based gas aggregation sources. Such systems were successfully used for the production of single material nanoparticles from metals, metal oxides, and plasma polymers. In addition, the growing interest in multi-component heterogeneous nanoparticles has led to the design of novel systems for the gas-phase synthesis of such nanomaterials, including metal/plasma polymer nanoparticles. In this featured article, we briefly summarized the principles of the basis of gas-phase nanoparticles production and highlighted recent progress made in the field of the fabrication of multi-component nanoparticles. We then introduced a gas aggregation source of plasma polymer nanoparticles that utilized radio frequency magnetron sputtering of a polymeric target with an emphasis on the key features of this kind of source. Finally, we presented and discussed three strategies suitable for the generation of metal/plasma polymer [email protected] or core-satellite nanoparticles: the use of composite targets, a multi-magnetron approach, and in-flight coating of plasma polymer nanoparticles by metal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sputtering Technologies for Growth of Advanced Thin Film)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Pathways to Tailor Photocatalytic Performance of TiO2 Thin Films Deposited by Reactive Magnetron Sputtering
Materials 2019, 12(17), 2840; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12172840 - 03 Sep 2019
Abstract
TiO2 thin films are used extensively for a broad range of applications including environmental remediation, self-cleaning technologies (windows, building exteriors, and textiles), water splitting, antibacterial, and biomedical surfaces. While a broad range of methods such as wet-chemical synthesis techniques, chemical vapor deposition [...] Read more.
TiO2 thin films are used extensively for a broad range of applications including environmental remediation, self-cleaning technologies (windows, building exteriors, and textiles), water splitting, antibacterial, and biomedical surfaces. While a broad range of methods such as wet-chemical synthesis techniques, chemical vapor deposition (CVD), and physical vapor deposition (PVD) have been developed for preparation of TiO2 thin films, PVD techniques allow a good control of the homogeneity and thickness as well as provide a good film adhesion. On the other hand, the choice of the PVD technique enormously influences the photocatalytic performance of the TiO2 layer to be deposited. Three important parameters play an important role on the photocatalytic performance of TiO2 thin films: first, the different pathways in crystallization (nucleation and growth); second, anatase/rutile formation; and third, surface area at the interface to the reactants. This study aims to provide a review regarding some strategies developed by our research group in recent years to improve the photocatalytic performance of TiO2 thin films. An innovative approach, which uses thermally induced nanocrack networks as an effective tool to enhance the photocatalytic performance of sputter deposited TiO2 thin films, is presented. Plasmonic and non-plasmonic enhancement of photocatalytic performance by decorating TiO2 thin films with metallic nanostructures are also briefly discussed by case studies. In addition to remediation applications, a new approach, which utilizes highly active photocatalytic TiO2 thin film for micro- and nanostructuring, is also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sputtering Technologies for Growth of Advanced Thin Film)
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Open AccessReview
Sputtered LiCoO2 Cathode Materials for All-Solid-State Thin-Film Lithium Microbatteries
Materials 2019, 12(17), 2687; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12172687 - 22 Aug 2019
Abstract
This review article presents the literature survey on radio frequency (RF)-magnetron sputtered LiCoO2 thin films used as cathode materials in all-solid-state rechargeable lithium microbatteries. As the process parameters lead to a variety of texture and preferential orientation, the influence of the sputtering [...] Read more.
This review article presents the literature survey on radio frequency (RF)-magnetron sputtered LiCoO2 thin films used as cathode materials in all-solid-state rechargeable lithium microbatteries. As the process parameters lead to a variety of texture and preferential orientation, the influence of the sputtering conditions on the deposition of LiCoO2 thin films are considered. The electrochemical performance is examined as a function of composition of the sputter Ar/O2 gas mixture, gas flow rate, pressure, nature of substrate, substrate temperature, deposition rate, and annealing temperature. The state-of-the-art of lithium microbatteries fabricated by the rf-sputtering method is also reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sputtering Technologies for Growth of Advanced Thin Film)
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