In this paper features are discussed that are related to the nucleation and growth of thin films deposited by physical vapour deposition. Although the paper is mainly focused on oblique-incidence deposition, a normally-impinging vapour flux will also be described. Two cases of oblique-incidence deposition will be discussed: one obliquely-impinging flux and two obliquely-impinging fluxes from opposite directions. With respect to the microstructure, both similarities and differences between these deposition will be described. Further, a special feature of two obliquely-impinging vapour fluxes is dealt with, which is the local composition in the lateral direction (parallel to the substrate). The oblique and opposing directions can induce an inhomogeneous chemical composition. This process is referred to as process-induced compositional separation. In addition to reviewing the literature, the paper summarizes experimental data on obliquely co-evaporated Co-Cr, Co-Ag and Co-Ta films. It will be shown from these experimental data that the two vapour directions can be exploited to tailor compositional inhomogeneities.
- SMI-TST: From 2006 in EWI-TST
- SMI-MAT: MATERIALS