Tutorial Course Descriptions

Detailed Syllabus

C-323 Fundamentals of High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HIPIMS)

This course is intended for people with a basic background in materials science who need to understand the broad range of techniques available to characterize thick films, thin films, and surfaces. The course is appropriate for technicians, engineers, and managers who perform or specify characterization work as well as students seeking a broad understanding of the field. The tutorial examines a broad range of important properties of discusses how film thickness may cause measured values/performance to differ from bulk properties. Generic differences between counting and spectroscopic techniques are presented and available “probes” are identified.


Topical Outline:
  • HIPIMS - An Introduction
  • Stationary plasmas, sheaths, discharge
  • DC magnetron, and comparison to DC arc
  • 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
  • Microstructure and Texture tailoring by HIPIMS
  • Deposition rates
  • Hardware
  • Applications
Course Details:

This course is intended for engineers, technicians, students, and others interested in using high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS) for deposition. Some basic understanding or experience with plasmas and materials is desirable but not required. The course starts with a brief introduction to plasma and sheath physics in general, as it is relevant for 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 first 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.

Equipped with these basics, we move on to the central topic of this course, 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 compare HIPIMS with the more conventional medium-frequency pulsed sputtering.

We will explain how the time-dependent HIPIMS discharge differs from conventional magnetron discharges. The resulting plasma is compared to plasmas of other magnetron and arc discharges.

A central part is the physics and engineering aspects of pulsed plasmas, pulsed sheaths, and pulsed substrate bias. We move on to see what kind of effects one can obtain by using pulsed plasma systems. Such effects include the increase of the degree of ionization, dissociation of the reactive gas, interface tailoring, and control of film stress and microstructure. Examples of applications of high power impulse magnetron sputtering are given.

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.

This course is currently available via:
On Location Education Program

Contact Us | Member Login  | Use and Privacy Policy | Forum Terms of Use
© Copyright 2006-2023, Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC™)
All Rights Reserved
Follow SVC on Twitter Follow SVC on Instagram Follow SVC on LinkedIn Follow SVC on YouTube Society of Vacuum Coaters
P.O. Box 10628
Albuquerque, NM 87184
Phone 505/897-7743
Fax 866/577-2407