Ionautics - HiPSTER Bias
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The key to successful biasing is to use a bias unit that can withstand the high ion flux generated by the HiPIMS discharge at a maintained bias voltage. At Ionautics, we strongly recommend using our HiPSTER units also on the substrate side to ensure stable pulsed HiPIMS bias conditions. The pulsed bias signal must be synchronized to the HiPIMS pulse using our HiPSTER Sync Unit

Synchronized HiPIMS bias

Additional advantages of using our HiPSTER Bias solution is achieved by synchronizing the substrate bias to only the metal-ion-rich portion during the HiPIMS pulse. This is typically realized by slightly delaying the pulsed bias to suppress inert gas-ion bombardment in favor of pre­dominantly metal-ions.

The possibility to separate metal ion from gas-ion-indu­ced effects has enabled better control of micro-structure evolution, allowing low-temperature growth of single-phase metastable alloys with larger grain size, strong preferred orientation, high hardness, and low stress.

What you need


Select a HiPSTER HiPIMS unit(s) that generates high enough peak currents on the magnetron(s). For typical HiPIMS conditions this means peak currents of 1 A/cm2 of target surface. A 3” magnetron would thereby experience HiPIMS peak currents of about 50 A making the HiPSTER 1 the right choice.

For larger industrial magnetrons it is often better to select the unit delivering enough average discharge power, i.e. 10 kW for the HiPSTER 10.

HiPSTER Bias Unit

The choice of HiPSTER Bias unit depends on the expected bias currents during HiPIMS operation, which can be hard to estimate. For typical R&D magnetron deposition systems we often use 20% of the maximum HiPIMS peak current, i.e., HiPIMS peak currents of about 50 A would mean peak bias currents of around 10 A and the HiPSTER 1 would thereby be the right choice.

Multiple magnetrons in HiPIMS operation would multiply the expected bias currents by the number of magnetrons. Also, large industrial magnetrons typically lead to significantly higher peak currents often requiring the HiPSTER 6 as bias unit.

HiPSTER Sync Unit

For synchronization of the HiPIMS and bias pulses the HiPSTER Sync Unit is also needed.