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Processing of Sputter Targets Using Current Activated Pressure Assisted Densification

  • Author(s): Chaney, Neil Russell
  • Advisor(s): Garay, Javier E
  • et al.

Thin Film deposition is a process that has been around since the beginning of the twentieth century and has become an integral part of the microfabrication and nanofabrication industries. Sputter deposition is a method of physical vapor deposition (PVD) in which a target is bombarded with ions and atoms are ejected and deposited as a thin film on a substrate. Despite extensive research on the direct process of sputtering thin films from targets to substrates, not much work has been done on studying the effect of processing on the microstructure of a target. In the first part of this work, the development of a PVD chamber is explored along with a few modifications and improvements developed along the way. A multiple process PVD chamber was equipped with three different types of PVD processes: sputtering, evaporation, and electron-beam deposition. In the second part of this work, the effect of processing of sputter targets on deposited films is explored. Multiple targets of Copper and yttria stabilized zirconia were produced using CAPAD. The effect of the processing on the microstructure of the targets was determined. The targets were then sputtered into films to study the effects of the target grain size on their properties. The effect of power and pressure were also measured. Increased power led to increased deposition rates while higher vacuum caused deposition rates to decrease.

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