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  • 1.
    Greczynski, Grzegorz
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Zhirkov, Igor
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Petrov, Ivan
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. University of Illinois, IL 61801 USA; University of Illinois, IL 61801 USA.
    Greene, Joseph E
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. University of Illinois, IL 61801 USA; University of Illinois, IL 61801 USA; University of Illinois, IL 61801 USA.
    Rosén, Johanna
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Gas rarefaction effects during high power pulsed magnetron sputtering of groups IVb and VIb transition metals in Ar2017In: Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. A. Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films, ISSN 0734-2101, E-ISSN 1520-8559, Vol. 35, no 6, article id 060601Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The authors use energy- and time-dependent mass spectrometry to analyze the evolution of metal- and gas-ion fluxes incident at the substrate during high-power pulsed magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) of groups IVb and VIb transition-metal (TM) targets in Ar. For all TMs, the time-and energy-integrated metal/gas-ion ratio at the substrate plane NMe+/NAr+ increases with increasing peak target current density J(T,peak) due to rarefaction. In addition, NMe+/NAr+ exhibits a strong dependence on metal/gas-atom mass ratio m(Me)/m(g) and varies from similar to 1 for Ti (m(Ti)/m(Ar) = 1.20) to similar to 100 for W (m(W)/m(Ar) = 4.60), with J(T,peak) maintained constant at 1 A/cm(2). Time-resolved ion-energy distribution functions confirm that the degree of rarefaction scales with m(Me)/m(g): for heavier TMs, the original sputtered-atom Sigmund-Thompson energy distributions are preserved long after the HiPIMS pulse, which is in distinct contrast to lighter metals for which the energy distributions collapse into a narrow thermalized peak. Hence, precise timing of synchronous substrate-bias pulses, applied in order to reduce film stress while increasing densification, is critical for metal/gas combinations with m(Me)/m(g) near unity, while with m(Me)/m(g) amp;gt;amp;gt; 1, the width of the synchronous bias pulse is essentially controlled by the metal-ion time of flight. The good agreement between results obtained in an industrial system employing 440 cm(2) cathodes and a laboratory-scale system with a 20 cm(2) target is indicative of the fundamental nature of the phenomena. 

  • 2.
    Kholodnaya, G. E.
    et al.
    Tomsk Polytech University, Russia.
    Sazonov, R. V.
    Tomsk Polytech University, Russia.
    Ponomarev, D. V.
    Tomsk Polytech University, Russia.
    Remnev, G. E.
    Tomsk Polytech University, Russia.
    Zhirkov, Igor
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Pulsed electron beam propagation in argon and nitrogen gas mixture2015In: Physics of Plasmas, ISSN 1070-664X, E-ISSN 1089-7674, Vol. 22, no 10, article id 103116Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper presents the results of current measurements for the electron beam, propagating inside a drift tube filled in with a gas mixture (Ar and N-2). The experiments were performed using the TEA-500 pulsed electron accelerator. The main characteristics of electron beam were as follows: 60 ns pulse duration, up to 200 J energy, and 5 cm diameter. The electron beam propagated inside the drift tube assembled of three sections. Gas pressures inside the drift tube were 760 +/- 3, 300 +/- 3, and 50 +/- 1 Torr. The studies were performed in argon, nitrogen, and their mixtures of 33%, 50%, and 66% volume concentrations, respectively. (C) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

  • 3.
    Paternoster, Carlo
    et al.
    University of Libre Bruxelles ULB University of Brussels, Belgium .
    Zhirkov, Igor
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Delplancke-Ogletree, Marie-Paule
    University of Libre Bruxelles ULB University of Brussels, Belgium .
    Structural and mechanical characterization of nanostructured titanium oxide thin films deposited by filtered cathodic vacuum arc2013In: Surface & Coatings Technology, ISSN 0257-8972, E-ISSN 1879-3347, Vol. 227, p. 42-47Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Titanium oxides are interesting materials, because they can be used for photocatalytic, optical and gas sensing purposes. In a variety of applications, the present phases and film structure have an influence on the effectiveness of the coating function: for this reason, deposition parameter control plays a fundamental role in the formation of coatings with the wished features. In this work, titanium oxide films are deposited by filtered cathodic vacuum arc (FCVA) operated in a pulse mode. FCVA is a versatile deposition system appreciated both in research and industry for its high deposition rate, for the possibility to control the ion energy and for the production of nearly fully ionized plasma. A pure titanium cathode is used as ion source, and depositions are carried out in an oxygen reactive atmosphere. The effects of substrate temperature and substrate bias on film properties, structure and composition are investigated. Bragg-Brentano X-ray diffraction, and electron and atomic force microscopy are used to assess the deposited film structure, while nanoindentation is used to study film mechanical properties. Phases, roughness, hardness and reduced Youngs modulus are studied as a function of the deposition parameters. Correlation between deposition conditions and structure of synthesized films is discussed, taking into account the features of plasma produced by a filtered cathodic arc system.

  • 4.
    Zhirkov, Igor
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Eriksson, Anders
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Petruhins, Andrejs
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Dahlqvist, Martin
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Ingason, Arni Sigurdur
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Rosén, Johanna
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Effect of Ti-Al cathode composition on plasma generation and plasma transport in direct current vacuum arc2014In: Journal of Applied Physics, ISSN 0021-8979, E-ISSN 1089-7550, Vol. 115, no 12, p. 123301-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    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.

  • 5.
    Zhirkov, Igor
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Eriksson, Anders
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Rosén, Johanna
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Ion velocities in direct current arc plasma generated from compound cathodes2111022013In: Journal of Applied Physics, ISSN 0021-8979, E-ISSN 1089-7550, Vol. 114, no 21, p. 213302-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Arc plasma from Ti-C, Ti-Al, and Ti-Si cathodes was characterized with respect to charge-state-resolved ion energy. The evaluated peak velocities of different ion species in plasma generated from a compound cathode were found to be equal and independent on ion mass. Therefore, measured difference in kinetic energies can be inferred from the difference in ion mass, with no dependence on ion charge state. The latter is consistent with previous work. These findings can be explained by plasma quasineutrality, ion acceleration by pressure gradients, and electron-ion coupling. Increasing the C concentration in Ti-C cathodes resulted in increasing average and peak ion energies for all ion species. This effect can be explained by the "cohesive energy rule," where material and phases of higher cohesive energy generally result in increasing energies (velocities). This is also consistent with the here obtained peak velocities around 1.37, 1.42, and 1.55 (10(4) m/s) for ions from Ti0.84Al0.16, Ti0.90Si0.10, and Ti0.90C0.10 cathodes, respectively.

  • 6.
    Zhirkov, Igor
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Oks, Efim
    Institute High Current Elect SB RAS, Russia.
    Rosén, Johanna
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Effect of N-2 and Ar gas on DC arc plasma generation and film composition from Ti-Al compound cathodes2015In: Journal of Applied Physics, ISSN 0021-8979, E-ISSN 1089-7550, Vol. 117, no 21, p. 213301-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    DC arc plasma from Ti, Al, and Ti(1-x)A(l)x (x = 0.16, 0.25, 0.50, and 0.70) compound cathodes has been characterized with respect to plasma chemistry (charged particles) and charge-stateresolved ion energy for Ar and N-2 pressures in the range 10(-6) to 3 x 10(-2) Torr. Scanning electron microscopy was used for exploring the correlation between the cathode and film composition, which in turn was correlated with the plasma properties. In an Ar atmosphere, 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. Introducing N-2 above similar to 5 x 10(-3) Torr, lead to a reduced Al content in the plasma as well as in the film, and hence a 1:1 correlation between the cathode and film composition cannot be expected in a reactive environment. This may be explained by an influence of the reactive gas on the arc mode and type of erosion of Ti and Al rich contaminations, as well as on the plasma transport. Throughout the investigated pressure range, a higher deposition rate was obtained from cathodes with higher Al content. The origin of generated gas ions was investigated through the velocity rule, stating that the most likely ion velocities of all cathode elements from a compound cathode are equal. The results suggest that the major part of the gas ions in Ar is generated from electron impact ionization, while gas ions in a N-2 atmosphere primarily originate from a nitrogen contaminated layer on the cathode surface. The presented results provide a contribution to the understanding processes of plasma generation from compound cathodes. It also allows for a more reasonable approach to the selection of composite cathode and experimental conditions for thin film depositions. (C) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

  • 7.
    Zhirkov, Igor
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Oks, Efim
    Institute High Current Elect SB RAS, Russia.
    Rosén, Johanna
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Experimentally established correlation between ion charge state distributions and kinetic ion energy distributions in a direct current vacuum arc discharge2015In: Journal of Applied Physics, ISSN 0021-8979, E-ISSN 1089-7550, Vol. 117, no 9, p. 093301-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    DC arc plasmas from Al, Ti, Cu, Mo, and W cathodes have been characterized with respect to plasma chemistry and charge-state-resolved ion energy. The evaluated average ionization energies in the plasmas were found to be linearly correlated with the kinetic ion energies. This was further supported by evaluation of previously published data for 42 elements. A comparison of the total ion kinetic energy distribution and the corresponding ion charge state distribution, as defined by the ionization energies of the constituent ions, showed close to equivalent shapes and widths, for all cathodes analyzed. This suggests that the energy provided for ionization and acceleration varies simultaneously during plasma generation in the arc spot. The presented results provide a link between the ionization and acceleration processes, and may provide further insight into the fundamentals of cathode spot evolution and plasma generation. (C) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

  • 8.
    Zhirkov, Igor
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Petruhins, Andrejs
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Näslund, Lars-Åke
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Kolozsvari, Szilard
    PLANSEE Composite Mat GmbH, Germany.
    Polcik, Peter
    PLANSEE Composite Mat GmbH, Germany.
    Rosén, Johanna
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Vacuum arc plasma generation and thin film deposition from a TiB2 cathode2015In: Applied Physics Letters, ISSN 0003-6951, E-ISSN 1077-3118, Vol. 107, no 18, p. 184103-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We have studied the utilization of TiB2 cathodes for thin film deposition in a DC vacuum arc system. We present a route for attaining a stable, reproducible, and fully ionized plasma flux of Ti and B by removal of the external magnetic field, which leads to dissipation of the vacuum arc discharge and an increased active surface area of the cathode. Applying a magnetic field resulted in instability and cracking, consistent with the previous reports. Plasma analysis shows average energies of 115 and 26 eV, average ion charge states of 2.1 and 1.1 for Ti and B, respectively, and a plasma ion composition of approximately 50% Ti and 50% B. This is consistent with measured resulting film composition from X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, suggesting a negligible contribution of neutrals and macroparticles to the film growth. Also, despite the observations of macroparticle generation, the film surface is very smooth. These results are of importance for the utilization of cathodic arc as a method for synthesis of metal borides. (C) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

  • 9.
    Zhirkov, Igor
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Petruhins, Andrejs
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Polcik, Peter
    PLANSEE Composite Mat GmbH, Germany.
    Kolozsvari, Szilard
    PLANSEE Composite Mat GmbH, Germany.
    Rosén, Johanna
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Generation of super-size macroparticles in a direct current vacuum arc discharge from a Mo-Cu cathode2016In: Applied Physics Letters, ISSN 0003-6951, E-ISSN 1077-3118, Vol. 108, no 5, p. 054103-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An inherent property of cathodic arc is the generation of macroparticles, of a typical size ranging from submicrometer up to a few tens of mu m. In this work, we have studied macroparticle generation from a Mo0.78Cu0.22 cathode used in a dc vacuum arc discharge, and we present evidence for super-size macroparticles of up to 0.7mm in diameter. All analyzed particles are found to be rich in Mo (>= 98 at. %). The particle generation is studied by visual observation of the cathode surface during arcing, by analysis of composition and geometrical features of the used cathode surface, and by examination of the generated macroparticles with respect to shape and composition. A mechanism for super-size macroparticle generation is suggested based on observed segregated layers of Mo and Cu identified in the topmost part of the cathode surface, likely due to the discrepancy in melting and evaporation temperatures of Mo and Cu. The results are of importance for increasing the fundamental understanding of macroparticle generation, which in turn may lead to increased process control and potentially provide paths for tuning, or even mitigating, macroparticle generation. (C) 2016 AIP Publishing LLC.

  • 10.
    Zhirkov, Igor
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Petruhins, Andrejs
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Rosén, Jakob
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, ESLAB - Embedded Systems Laboratory. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Effect of cathode composition and nitrogen pressure on macroparticle generation and type of arc discharge in a DC arc source with Ti-Al compound cathodes2015In: Surface & Coatings Technology, ISSN 0257-8972, E-ISSN 1879-3347, Vol. 281, p. 20-26Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Thin films deposited with unfiltered DC arc plasma from Ti, Ti0.75Al0.25, Ti0.50Al0.50, Ti0.30Al0.70, and Al cathodes were characterized with a scanning electron microscope for quantification of extent of macroparticle incorporation. Depositions were performed in N-2 atmosphere in the pressure range from 10(-6) Torr up to 3 . 10(-2) Torr, and the formation of cathode surface nitride contamination was identified from X-ray diffraction analysis. Visual observation and photographic fixation of the arc spot behavior was simultaneously performed. A reduction in macroparticle generation with decreasing Al content and increasing N-2 pressure was demonstrated. A correlated transformation of the arc from type 2 to the type 1 was visually detected and found to be a function of N-2 pressure and at of Al in the cathode. For the Ti cathode, no arc transformation was detected. These observations can be explained by a comparatively high electrical resistivity and high melting point of Al rich surface nitrides, promoting an arc transformation and a reduction in macropartide generation. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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