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Tutorial Course Descriptions

Detailed Syllabus

C-208 Sputter Deposition for Industrial Applications

This course covers topics of practical importance to those who presently use sputtering or who would benefit from an introduction to the technology. The emphasis is on developing an understanding of the underlying science and the factors that influence product throughput, coating quality and process robustness and reliability. Typical applications of various sputtering techniques are presented as well as the advantages and limitations of each. Relationships between the sputtering conditions and important film properties - such as microstructure, composition, stress, adhesion and the resulting mechanical, electrical, and optical characteristics - are discussed. The emphasis is on process and hardware considerations rather than the detailed material properties of the coatings. No prior background in sputtering is needed.

 

Topical Outline:
  • A Brief introduction to basic vacuum technology
  • Sputtering plasmas and the nature of the sputtering process
  • Estimating deposition rates and rate limiting factors
  • Cathode geometries and associated film thickness profiles
  • Film composition and compositional uniformity
  • Film nucleation and growth
  • Effects of substrate temperature and energetic particle bombardment
  • Biased sputtering and the use of unbalanced magnetrons
  • Sources of substrate heating
  • rf sputtering of dielectrics from insulating targets
  • The dc, pulsed dc, and ac reactive sputtering of dielectrics
  • Process control methods for reactive sputtering
  • Arcing, disappearing anodes, and other process stability issues
  • Ion beam sputtering
  • High Power Pulsed Magnetron Sputtering (HPPMS or HIPIMS)
Course Details:

This course covers topics of practical importance to those who presently use sputtering or who would benefit from an introduction to the technology. The emphasis is on developing an understanding of the underlying science and the factors that influence product throughput, coating quality and process robustness and reliability. Typical applications of various sputtering techniques are presented as well as the advantages and limitations of each. Relationships between the sputtering conditions and important film properties - such as microstructure, composition, stress, adhesion and the resulting mechanical, electrical, and optical characteristics - are discussed. The emphasis is on process and hardware considerations rather than the detailed material properties of the coatings. No prior background in sputtering is needed.

  1. Introduction and examples of sputtered coatings
  2. The vacuum environment
    1. Ideal gas law
    2. Viscous and molecular flow
    3. Mean free path
  3. Plasmas, plasma characteristics and magnetron sputtering
    1. Electron impact ionization and conditions for self-sustained discharges
    2. The Paschen curve
    3. Architecture of glow discharges and sheath formation
    4. Magnetic fields and the E X B drift
    5. Magnetron sputtering
  4. Sputter yields and the distribution of sputtered atoms
    1. Sputtering alloys
    2. Distribution of sputtered material and coating uniformity
  5. Coating nucleation and growth
    1. Growth modes
    2. The Gibbs free energy and island formation
    3. Columnar growth
    4. Influence of temperature and surface mobility
  6. Sputtering electrically insulating materials
    1. RF sputtering
    2. Ion beam sputtering
    3. Reactive sputtering
      1. Target poisoning
      2. Methods of reactive gas partial pressure control
      3. Arcing and arc reduction
  7. Ion enhanced sputtering
    1. Bias sputtering
    2. Unbalanced magnetron sputtering
    3. High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HiPIMS)
  8. Stress in sputtered coatings
    1. Origins of stress
    2. Importance of reflected neutral atoms
    3. Substrate heating

Instructor: David A. Glocker, Isoflux (retired)
David A. Glocker

Dr. David Glocker has more than 35 years’ experience in thin film research, development and manufacturing. He spent 15 years in the Eastman Kodak Research Labs, where he was the group leader of a team responsible for scaling vacuum coating and surface treatment processes from the laboratory into production. In 1993 he founded Isoflux Incorporated to design and manufacture inverted cylindrical magnetron cathodes and develop processes based on their unique features. Customers use the company’s products in R&D and in manufacturing for applications as varied as medical devices, power transmission and sensors. He’s an inventor or co-inventor on 32 U.S. patents and has published a number of research papers in the areas of sputter source design, plasmas and plasma characteristics, sources of substrate heating in sputtering, and the control of sputtering processes and sputtered film properties. He retired from Isoflux in 2015.


This course is currently available via:
On Location Education Program
SVC TechCon Tutorial
Webinar Tutorial

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