Effect of Ti-Al cathode composition on plasma generation and plasma transport in direct current vacuum arc
2014 (English)In: Journal of Applied Physics, ISSN 0021-8979, E-ISSN 1089-7550, Vol. 115, no 12, 123301- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
DC arc plasma from Ti, Al, and Ti1-xAlx (x = 0.16, 0.25, 0.50, and 0.70) compound cathodes was characterized with respect to plasma chemistry and charge-state-resolved ion energy. Scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy of the deposited films and the cathode surfaces were used for exploring the correlation between cathode-, plasma-, and film composition. Experimental work was performed at a base pressure of 10(-6) Torr, to exclude plasma-gas interaction. The plasma ion composition showed a reduction of Al of approximately 5 at. % compared to the cathode composition, while deposited films were in accordance with the cathode stoichiometry. This may be explained by presence of neutrals in the plasma/vapour phase. The average ion charge states (Ti = 2.2, Al = 1.65) were consistent with reference data for elemental cathodes, and approximately independent on the cathode composition. On the contrary, the width of the ion energy distributions (IEDs) were drastically reduced when comparing the elemental Ti and Al cathodes with Ti0.5Al0.5, going from similar to 150 and similar to 175 eV to similar to 100 and similar to 75 eV for Ti and Al ions, respectively. This may be explained by a reduction in electron temperature, commonly associated with the high energy tail of the IED. The average Ti and Al ion energies ranged between similar to 50 and similar to 61 eV, and similar to 30 and similar to 50 eV, respectively, for different cathode compositions. The attained energy trends were explained by the velocity rule for compound cathodes, which states that the most likely velocities of ions of different mass are equal. Hence, compared to elemental cathodes, the faster Al ions will be decelerated, and the slower Ti ions will be accelerated when originating from compound cathodes. The intensity of the macroparticle generation and thickness of the deposited films were also found to be dependent on the cathode composition. The presented results may be of importance for choice of cathodes for thin film depositions involving compound cathodes.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Institute of Physics (AIP) , 2014. Vol. 115, no 12, 123301- p.
Engineering and Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-106517DOI: 10.1063/1.4869199ISI: 000333901100007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-106517DiVA: diva2:716643