Exploring the potential of high power impulse magnetron sputtering for the synthesis of scratch resistant, antireflective coatings
2013 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Broad band anti-reflective multilayer coatings require the use of a low-index material as a top layer. Normally SiO2 is used which exhibits sufficiently low refractive index (~1.5 at 550 nm) yet its low hardness (~10 GPa) hinders its application in abrasive environments. A strategy to circumnavigate these limitations is the synthesis of multicomponent materials that combine good mechanical and optical performance. In this work we synthesize Al-Si-O thin films seeking to combine the low refractive index of SiO2 and the relatively high hardness of Al2O3. The potential of reactive high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) for synthesizing Al-Si-O suitable for top-layers in anti-reflective coating stacks is explored by depositing films in an Ar+O2 ambient under varied target compositions (Al0.5Si0.5 and Al0.1Si0.9). The behavior of discharge current in metal and oxide mode is correlated with the plasma composition, plasma energetics as well as target surface composition in order to obtain information about the chemical nature and the energy of the film forming species. Plasma composition and plasma energetics are investigated by measuring electron density, electron temperature as well as energy distributions and as fluxes of Ar+, Al+, Si+ and O+ ions. Monte-Carlo based computer simulations are employed to assess the ion-target surface interactions to gain insight into the discharge characteristics as well as film growth. The properties of the grown films (chemical composition, mechanical and optical properties) are investigated and an understanding of the reactive HiPIMS-based growth of anti-reflective Al-Si-O thin films is established. For reference, the plasma and film properties of Al-O are also studied.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Al-Si-O, anti-reflective coatings, optical coatings, HiPIMS, reactive sputtering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104264OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-104264DiVA: diva2:696203