Novel high plasma density source
By Juanita Hernandez,2014-02-11 08:22
The invention of sputtering using the first DC diode-type arrangement led to huge innovation. However, the technique was very limited in most respects, due to the very low plasma density available. Evolution of the technique resulted in the invention of magnetron sputtering, which enhanced the sputtering rate to reasonable levels. Today, the ever-increasing demands of modern products for processing and manufacturing accuracy and efficiency have pushed magnetron sputtering technology to its limits, thus limiting the products themselves and their production lines. We have now developed a brand new technology for sputtering that does not suffer from the natural limitations of magnetron sputtering, and offers new opportunity by further broadening the scope of sputtering technology. Our technology solves the key barrier stoppers associated to magnetron sputtering, namely (1) low target utilisation. (2) Process instabilities and rate drifts associated to the racetrack formation around the target. (3) Instabilities, low deposition rates, and thin target limitations when sputtering from magnetic materials due to the short-circuit of magnetic flux from the magnetron by the target. (4) Target poisoning instabilities when reactive sputtering, arising from the simultaneous presence of different target erosion rates, near and away from the racetrack. (5) Low deposition rate when reactive sputtering, due to the small surface area that the racetrack offers for the chemical reaction, and (6). Localisation of the plasma to a small region next to the racetrack, imposing limitations to the effect of plasma assisted film densification, and increasing the chances for target poisoning when reactive-sputtering.