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Dr. Daniel Lundin, Prof. Ulf Helmersson

(Time: 1 day)

Motivation & Goals

  • Provide motivation for the use of HiPIMS in thin film deposition processes
  • Understand the basic routes to generating plasmas, and especially condensable plasmas by HiPIMS
  • Understand the fundamentals of sputtering and extend it to HiPIMS
  • Be able to characterize HiPIMS systems: electrical data and plasma diagnostics
  • Practical guidance to implementation and optimiza tion of metal as well as reactive HiPIMS processes

We will give an introductory seminar on thin film deposition with special focus on HiPIMS, and how this novel sputtering technique differs from conventional magnetron processes. The lecture starts with a brief introduction to the fundamentals of thin film growth as well as basic plasma physics, with emphasis on the role and characteristics of the plasma. Experimental results and simulations, based on industrially relevant material systems, will be used to illustrate mechanisms controlling nucleation kinetics, column formation, and microstructure evolution.

Furthermore, ionization of sputtered atoms will be discussed in detail for various target materials, since it enables effective surface modification via ion etching and self-ion assistance during film growth, as well as being a key feature in HiPIMS. In addition, the role of self-sputtering, secondary electron emission, and the importance of controlling the process gas dynamics (both inert as well as reactive gases) will be examined in detail with the aim to generate stable HiPIMS processes.

We will also look at how to characterize the HiPIMS discharge including essential diagnostic equipment in order to establish general trends on how to optimize any given HiPIMS process.

Course materials will be provided.

For background information please read: An introduction to thin film processing using high power impulse magnetron sputtering, D. Lundin and K. Sarakinos, J. Mater. Res. 27, 780, (2012).