Gas rarefaction and the time evolution of long high-power impulse magnetron sputtering pulses
2012 (English)In: Plasma sources science & technology (Print), ISSN 0963-0252, E-ISSN 1361-6595, Vol. 21, no 4, 045004- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Model studies of 400 mu s long discharge pulses in high-power impulse magnetron sputtering have been made to study the gas dynamics and plasma chemistry in this type of pulsed processing plasma. Data are taken from an experiment using square voltage pulses applied to an Al target in an Ar atmosphere at 1.8 Pa. The study is limited to low power densities, andlt; 0.5 kW cm(-2), in which the discharge is far away from the runaway self-sputtering mode. The model used is the ionization region model, a time-dependent plasma chemistry discharge model developed for the ionization region in magnetron sputtering discharges. It gives a close fit to the discharge current during the whole pulse, both an initial high-current transient and a later plateau value of constant lower current. The discharge current peak is found to precede a maximum in gas rarefaction of the order of Delta n(Ar)/n(Ar),(0) approximate to 50%. The time durations of the high-current transient, and of the rarefaction maximum, are determined by the time it takes to establish a steady-state diffusional refill of process gas from the surrounding volume. The dominating mechanism for gas rarefaction is ionization losses, with only about 30% due to the sputter wind kick-out process. During the high-current transient, the degree of sputtered metal ionization reaches 65-75%, and then drops to 30-35% in the plateau phase. The degree of self-sputtering (defined here as the metal ion fraction of the total ion current to the target) also varies during the pulse. It grows from zero at pulse start to a maximum of 65-70% coinciding in time with the maximum gas rarefaction, and then stabilizes in the range 40-45% during the plateau phase. The loss in deposition rate that can be attributed to the back-attraction of the ionized sputtered species is also estimated from the model. It is low during the initial 10-20 mu s, peaks around 60% during the high-current transient, and finally stabilizes around 30% during the plateau phase.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Physics , 2012. Vol. 21, no 4, 045004- p.
National CategoryEngineering and Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-84356DOI: 10.1088/0963-0252/21/4/045004ISI: 000307307600007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-84356DiVA: diva2:558777
Funding Agencies|Icelandic Research Fund|072105003|Swedish Research Council Grant|621-2008-3222|European Collaboration in Science and Technology (COST Action)|MP0804|US Department of Energy|DE-AC020-5CH11231|2012-10-052012-10-052012-10-05