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Fundamental aspects of HiPIMS under industrial conditions
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Plasma and Coating Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Fundamental aspects of the high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) process and its implication for film growth under industrial conditions have been studied. The emerging HiPIMS technique exhibits a higher plasma density and an enhanced degree of ionisation of sputtered material as compared to conventional direct current magnetron sputtering (DCMS). The increased ionisation permits control of the deposition flux and facilitates an intense ion bombardment of the growing films. The latter allows for growth of well adherent, smooth, and dense thin films. Moreover, the technique offers increased stability of reactive processes, control of film phase constitution as well as tailoring of e.g. optical and mechanical properties.

In the present work, it was shown, for eight different metals (Al, Ti, Cr, Cu, Zr, Ag, Ta, and Pt), that films grown using HiPIMS exhibit a 5-15% higher density than films grown using DCMS under otherwise identical conditions. Through simulations of the fundamental ionisation processes in the plasma discharge, a correlation between high ionisation degree and film densification was established. The densification was suggested to be a consequence of increased ion irradiation of the growing films in the HiPIMS case. This knowledge was used to investigate the degree of ionisation in the deposition flux required for film modifications. Using a hybrid process, where DCMS and HiPIMS were combined on a single Cr cathode, independent control of the degree of ionisation from other experimental parameters was achieved. The results showed that the majority of the ion irradiation induced modifications of surface related film properties occurred when ~40% of the total average power was supplied by the HiPIMS generator. Under such conditions, the power normalised deposition rate was found to be ~80% of that of DCMS. This was attributed to a reduction in back-attracted ionised sputtered material, which is considered to be the main reason for the low deposition rate of HiPIMS. Thus, enhanced film properties were attainable largely without sacrificing deposition rate.

Compound carbide and boride films were synthesised using both reactive processes and compound sources. Reactive deposition of TiC/a-C:H thin films using C2H2 as reactive gas, i.e. carbon source, was demonstrated. It was found that the high plasma density processes (i.e. HiPIMS) facilitated growth conditions for the film structure formation closer to thermodynamic equilibrium than did processes exhibiting lower plasma densities (i.e. DCMS). This was manifested in a high stoichiometry of the carbide phase, whilst excess a-C was removed by physical sputtering. Moreover, the feasibility of using HiPIMS for thin film growth from a compound source, obtaining the same composition in the films as the sputtering source, was demonstrated through synthesis of ZrB2 films.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012. , 52 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1461
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-79306ISBN: 978-91-7519-856-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-79306DiVA: diva2:540330
Public defence
2012-08-16, Planck, Fysikhuset, Campus Valla, Linköpings univeristet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-07-09 Created: 2012-07-09 Last updated: 2013-10-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. On the film density using high power impulse magnetron sputtering
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2010 (English)In: Surface & Coatings Technology, ISSN 0257-8972, E-ISSN 1879-3347, Vol. 205, no 2, 591-596 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The influence on thin film density using high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS) has been investigated for eight different target materials (Al, Ti, Cr. Cu, Zr, Ag, Ta, and Pt). The density values as well as deposition rates have been compared to results obtained from thin films grown by direct current magnetron sputtering (DCMS) under the same experimental conditions. Overall, it was found that the HIPIMS deposited coatings were approximately 5-15% denser compared to the DCMS deposited coatings This could be attributed to the increased metal ion bombardment commonly seen in HIPIMS discharges, which also was verified using a global plasma model to assess the degree of ionization of sputtered metal One key feature is that the momentum transfer between the growing film and the incoming metal ions is very efficient due to the equal mass of film and bombarding species, leading to a less pronounced columnar microstructure As expected the deposition rates were found to be lower for HiPIMS compared to DCMS For several materials this decrease is not as pronounced as previously reported in the literature, which is shown in the case of Ta. Pt, and Ag with rate(HIPIMS)/rate(DCMS)-70-85%. while still achieving denser coatings

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam., 2010
Keyword
HIPIMS, HPPMS, DCMS, Density, RBS, Global plasma model
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-60690 (URN)10.1016/j.surfcoat.2010.07.041 (DOI)000282542300053 ()
Available from: 2010-11-01 Created: 2010-10-22 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
2. Influence of ionization degree on film properties when using high power impulse magnetron sputtering
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2012 (English)In: Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. A. Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films, ISSN 0734-2101, E-ISSN 1520-8559, Vol. 30, no 3, 031507- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Chromium thin films are deposited by combining direct current magnetron sputtering and high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) on a single cathode in an industrial deposition system. While maintaining a constant deposition rate and unchanged metal ion energy distribution function, the fraction of the total power supplied by either deposition technique is altered, and thereby also the metal ion to metal neutral ratio of the deposition flux. It is observed that the required total average power needed to be proportionally increased as the HiPIMS fraction is increased to be able to keep a constant deposition rate. The influence on microstructure, electrical, and electrochemical properties of the films is investigated and shows improvements with the use of HiPIMS. However, considerable influence of the studied properties occurs already when only some 40% of the total power is supplied by the HiPIMS technique. Further increase of the HiPIMS power fraction results in comparatively minor influence of the studied properties yet significant deposition rate efficiency reduction. The results show that the degree of ionization can be controlled separately, and that the advantages associated with using HiPIMS can be obtained while much of the deposition rate reduction, often reported for HiPIMS, can be avoided.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Vacuum Society, 2012
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-78582 (URN)10.1116/1.3700227 (DOI)000303602800018 ()
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council (VR)|621-2005-3245621-2008-3222623-2009-7348|Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research||

Available from: 2012-06-15 Created: 2012-06-15 Last updated: 2017-12-07
3. Growth of TiC/a-C:H nanocomposite films by reactive high power impulse magnetron sputtering under industrial conditions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Growth of TiC/a-C:H nanocomposite films by reactive high power impulse magnetron sputtering under industrial conditions
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2012 (English)In: Surface & Coatings Technology, ISSN 0257-8972, E-ISSN 1879-3347, Vol. 206, no 8-9, 2396-2402 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Titanium carbide (TiC) films were deposited employing high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) and direct current magnetron sputtering (DCMS) in an Ar-C2H2 atmosphere of various compositions. Analysis of the structural, bonding and compositional characteristics revealed that the deposited films are nanocomposites; either hydrogenated amorphous carbon and TiC (TiC/a-C:H), or Titanium and TiC (Ti/TiC) depending on the C/Ti ratio of the films. It was found that TiC/a-C:H films grown by HiPIMS were dense, and within a certain C2H2 flow range (4-15 sccm) showed little changes in C/Ti ratio, which also saturated towards 1. The HiPIMS grown films also exhibited the tendency to form smaller fractions of amorphous C matrix, and incorporate smaller amounts of oxygen contaminants, as compared to films grown by DCMS. The TiC/a-C:H films exhibited resistivity and hardness values of 4-8×102 μΩcm and 20-27 GPa, respectively when deposited by HiPIMS. The corresponding values for films grown by DCMS at the same deposition rate as HiPIMS were >10×102 μΩcm and ~6-10 GPa respectively, likely due to abundant formation of free C and porosity, allowing oxygen contaminations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2012
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67485 (URN)10.1016/j.surfcoat.2011.10.039 (DOI)000300458500047 ()
Note

funding agencies|Swedish Research Council (VR)| 621-2005-3245 621-2008-3222 623-2009-7348 |

Available from: 2011-04-14 Created: 2011-04-14 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
4. The effect of plasma-surface interactions on the structure formation of vapour deposited TiC/a-C:H nanocomposite films
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The effect of plasma-surface interactions on the structure formation of vapour deposited TiC/a-C:H nanocomposite films
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Fundamental mechanisms determining the structure formation of nanocomposite TiC-/a-C:H thin films synthesised by reactive magnetron sputtering techniques have been studied. The investigation entailed varying the plasma density, composition, and substrate bias, thus altering ion-film interaction conditions. Moreover, by changing the vacuum pumping speed the influence of process stability was studied. The results show that the structure formation is predominantly controlled by energetic ion irradiation of the films, which, depending on the ion energies, provide increased adatom surface mobility and/or causes physical sputtering. No influence on the film structure formation due to process stability was seen, while influence of chemical sputtering could not be inferred. The present study explains previous results (Samuelsson et al., Surf. Coat. Technol. 206, 2396 (2012)), where the use of a high plasma density reactive sputtering technique resulted in film growth conditions favouring low presence of a-C:H and high stoichiometry of the TiC phase.

National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-79304 (URN)
Available from: 2012-07-09 Created: 2012-07-09 Last updated: 2013-10-30Bibliographically approved
5. ZrB2 thin films grown by high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) from a compound target
Open this publication in new window or tab >>ZrB2 thin films grown by high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) from a compound target
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2012 (English)In: Thin Solid Films, ISSN 0040-6090, E-ISSN 1879-2731, Vol. 526, 163-167 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

ZrB2 thin films were grown on Si by high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) from a compound target in an industrial deposition system. By keeping a constant average power while modifying the HiPIMS pulse repetition frequency, the pulse peak current and thereby the degree of ionisation was varied. The films were characterised using X-ray diffraction techniques, scanning electron microscopy, time-of-flight elastic recoil detection analysis, and four-point probe measurements. It was found that the composition of the films matched closely that of the target material, and the films were low in contamination. The films were crystalline with a strong (000n) preferred orientation, and that the residual stress could be adjusted, from tensile to compressive, by increasing the degree of ionisation. The film morphology appeared dense, with a smooth surface, and the resistivity was found to range from 180 to 250 μΩcm with no clear dependence on frequency in the investigated parameter range.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2012
Keyword
Zirconium diboride, Thin films, High power impulse magnetron sputtering, High power pulsed magnetron sputtering, Compound target, Industrial scale deposition system, Crystalline films
National Category
Natural Sciences Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-79305 (URN)10.1016/j.tsf.2012.11.006 (DOI)000313703200027 ()
Available from: 2012-07-09 Created: 2012-07-09 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved

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