On how to measure the probabilities of target atom ionization and target ion back-attraction in high-power impulse magnetron sputtering

Martin Rudolph*, Hamidreza Hajihoseini, Michael A. Raadu, Jon Tomas Gudmundsson, Nils Brenning, Tiberiu M. Minea, André Anders, Daniel Lundin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

High-power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) is an ionized physical vapor deposition technique that provides a high flux of ionized target species for thin film growth. Optimization of HiPIMS processes is, however, often difficult, since the influence of external process parameters, such as working gas pressure, magnetic field strength, and pulse configuration, on the deposition process characteristics is not well understood. The reason is that these external parameters are only indirectly connected to the two key flux parameters, the deposition rate and ionized flux fraction, via two internal discharge parameters: the target atom ionization probability αt and the target ion back-attraction probability βt. Until now, it has been difficult to assess αt and βt without resorting to computational modeling, which has hampered knowledge-based optimization. Here, we present a simple method to deduce αt and βt based on measured deposition rates of neutrals and ions. The core of the method is a refined analytical model, which is described in detail. This approach is furthermore validated by independent calculations of αt and βt using the considerably more complex ionization region model, which is a plasma-chemical global discharge model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number033303
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume129
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2021

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