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Tutorial Course Descriptions

Detailed Syllabus

C-323 High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering

This tutorial is intended for engineers, technicians, students, and others interested in high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS). With HIPIMS we mean a pulsed sputtering process where the power density on the sputtering target is greatly enhanced (about two orders of magnitude) over the average power density. Hence, the word “impulse” is adopted to signify a low duty cycle of operation.

 

Some basic understanding or experience with plasmas and materials is desirable but not required. The tutorial starts with a brief introduction to basic plasma and sheath physics. The operation of dc magnetrons is explained to provide the foundation for the understanding of the time-dependent processes in pulsed systems, and especially those of HIPIMS discharges.

 

High power density leads to significant ionization of the sputtered material, enabling effective surface modification via ion etching and ion assistance to film growth. The interface to the substrate can be engineered and the film texture can be influenced using the HIPIMS plasma in combination with an appropriate bias.

 

Topical Outline:
  • HIPIMS - An Introduction
  • Stationary plasmas, sheaths, discharge
  • The dc magnetron processes
  • Ion surface modification: etching and film growth, energetic condensation
  • Pulsed plasmas and sheaths
  • High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering: the discharge
  • Plasma characterization and plasma diagnostics
  • Substrate biasing: etching / growth assist
  • Interface engineering by using HIPIMS plasmas
  • Deposition and coatings by HIPIMS
  • Hardware
  • Applications
Course Details:

This tutorial is intended for engineers, technicians, students, and others interested in using pulsed plasmas for deposition in general, and high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS) in particular. Some basic understanding or experience with plasmas and materials is desirable but not required.

The tutorial starts with an introduction to basic plasma and sheath physics, as it is relevant to coatings and films. We will explain the operation and physical processes of DC magnetrons to provide the foundation for the understanding of the time-dependent processes in pulsed systems. To appreciate the effects of pulsed plasmas on coatings, we provide a brief overview on film growth modes and the effects obtained by ion bombardment. Attention will also be paid to substrate surface modification by very energetic ions (etching) where sputtering and shallow ion implantation occur. The world of pulsed plasma processing is introduced by considering the effects of pulsing on the plasma and sheath.

Equipped with these basics, we move on to the central topic of this tutorial, high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS). With HIPIMS we mean a pulsed sputtering process where the power density on the sputtering target is greatly enhanced (about two orders of magnitude) over the average power density. Hence, the word “impulse” is adopted to signify a low duty cycle. We will explain how the time-dependent HIPIMS discharge differs from conventional magnetron discharges.

Based on various plasma diagnostics techniques, the HIPIMS plasma is characterized and compared to plasmas of other magnetron and arc discharges. The high degree of ionization of the sputtered material enables effective surface modification via ion etching and ion assistance to film growth. The interface to the substrate can be engineered and the film texture can be influenced using the HIPIMS plasma and appropriate bias.

The tutorial is concluded by considering various available hardware (power supplies etc.) and industrial applications such as tool coatings.

Instructor: Arutiun P. Ehiasarian, Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom
Arutiun P. Ehiasarian

joined the Nanotechnology Centre for PVD Research at Sheffield Hallam University, UK in 1998 where he obtained his PhD in Plasma Science and Surface Engineering. His research within NTCPVD has concentrated on development of plasma PVD technologies for substrate pretreatment prior to coating deposition to improve adhesion, deposition of coatings with dense microstructure, low-pressure plasma nitriding and hybrid processes of plasma nitriding/coating deposition. He has experience with cathodic vacuum arc discharges, dc and pulsed magnetron discharges, and radio-frequency coil enhanced magnetron sputtering. He utilizes plasma diagnostics such as optical emission spectroscopy (OES), electrostatic probes, energy-resolved mass spectroscopy and atomic absorption spectroscopy. Materials characterization includes high-resolution TEM, STEM, STEM-EDS, SEM, and XRD as well as mechanical testing available at NTCPVD. Arutiun is one of the pioneers of high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS) technology and his work in the field has been acknowledged with the R.F. Bunshah Award (2002), the TecVac Prize (2002) and the Hüttinger Industrial Accolade. In 2011 he received the AVS Peter Mark Memorial Award as a top young investigator, and in  2012 he received the SVC Mentor Award. He is an author of more than 50 publications, 10 invited lectures, 3 patents and 1 book chapter in the field of PVD and HIPIMS.

Instructor: André Anders, Plasma Applications Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
André Anders


is a Senior Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California. He grew up in East Germany and studied physics in Wroc?aw, Poland, Berlin, Germany, and Moscow, Russia (then Soviet Union). He got his PhD in physics from Humboldt University, Berlin and worked at the Academy of Sciences in East Berlin until 1991. The fall of the Berlin Wall gave him the opportunity to move to Berkeley, California, where he joined Berkeley Lab to work on plasma technologies. He is the author of more than 270 papers in refereed journals, author/editor of three books including "Cathodic Arcs" (Springer, 2008). André serves as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Applied Physics and was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), American Vacuum Society (AVS), the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and the Institute of Physics (IoP). 


This course is currently available via:
On Location Education Program

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