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Ionization of sputtered metals in high power pulsed magnetron sputtering

DOI: 10.1116/1.1818135 DOI Help

Authors: Johan Bohlmark (Linköping University, Sweden) , Jones Alami (Linköping University, Sweden) , Chris Christou (Diamond Light Source) , Arutiun P. Ehiasarian (Materials Research Institute, Sheffield Hallam University, U.K.) , Ulf Helmersson (Linköping University, Sweden)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Journal Of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, And Films , VOL 23 (1) , PAGES 18-22

State: Published (Approved)
Published: November 2004

Abstract: The ion to neutral ratio of the sputtered material have been studied for high power pulsed magnetron sputtering and compared with a continuous direct, current (dc) discharge using the same experimental setup except for the power source. Optical emission spectroscopy (OES) was used to study the optical emission from the plasma through a side window. The emission was shown to be dominated by emission from metal ions. The distribution of metal ionized states clearly differed from the distribution of excited states, and we suggest the presence of a hot dense plasma surrounded by a cooler plasma. Sputtered material was ionized close to the target and transported into a cooler plasma region where the emission was also recorded. Assuming a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of excited states the emission from the plasma was quantified. This showed that the ionic contribution to the recorded spectrum was over 90% for high pulse. powers. Even at relatively low applied pulse powers, the recorded spectra were dominated by emission from ions. OES analysis of the discharge in a continuous dc magnetron discharge was also made, which demonstrated much lower ionization. (C) 2005 American Vacuum Society.

Journal Keywords: Boltzmann Statistics; Emission Spectroscopy; Energy Spectra; Excited States; Hot Plasma; Ionization; Ions; Magnetrons; Pulsed Irradiation; Sputtering

Subject Areas: Technique Development

Technical Areas: Vacuum