Influence of ionisation zone motion in high power impulse magnetron sputtering on angular ion flux and NbOx film growth
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1088/0963-0252/25/1/015022
The ion energies and fluxes in the high power impulse magnetron sputtering plasma from a Nb target were analysed angularly resolved along the tangential direction of the racetrack. A reactive oxygen-containing atmosphere was used as such discharge conditions are typically employed for the synthesis of thin films. Asymmetries in the flux distribution of the recorded ions as well as their energies and charge states were noticed when varying the angle between mass-energy analyser and target surface. More positively charged ions with higher count rates in the medium energy range of their distributions were detected in +EB than in -EB direction, thus confirming the notion that ionisation zones (also known as spokes or plasma bunches) are associated with moving potential humps. The motion of the recorded negatively charged high-energy oxygen ions was unaffected. NbOxthin films at different angles and positions were synthesised and analysed as to their structure and properties in order to correlate the observed plasma properties to the film growth conditions. The chemical composition and the film thickness varied with changing deposition angle, where the latter, similar to the ion fluxes, was higher in +EB than in -EB direction.