Off-normal Film Growth by High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering

by Viktor Johansson

Institution: Linköping University
Year: 2011
Keywords: HiPIMS; HPPMS; glancing angle deposition; Natural Sciences; Physical Sciences; Condensed Matter Physics; Naturvetenskap; Fysik; Den kondenserade materiens fysik; fysik/kemi/matematik; Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics; Physics; Fysik
Record ID: 1348516
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-71315


In this study we contribute towards establishing the process-microstructure relationships in thin films grown off-normally by ionized physical vapor deposition. High power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) is used at various peak target powers and deposition rates to grow copper (Cu) and chromium (Cr) films from a cathode placed at an angle 90 degrees with respect to the substrate normal. Films are also deposited by direct current magnetron sputtering (DCMS), for reference. Scanning electron microscopy is employed to investigate column tilting and deposition rate while X-ray diffraction techniques are utilized to study crystal structure and grain tilting. It is demonstrated that the columnar structure of Cu tilts less with respect to the substrate normal as the peak target power increases, which has been shown to correspond to a higher ionization degree of the sputtered material [1]. One explanation for this is that the trajectories of the ions are deflected towards the substrate and therefore deposited closer to the normal, as has been suggested in the literature (see e.g. [2]). Energetic bombardment by ions might also increase surface mobility, which further raises the columns. It is also concluded that the change in tilting is not caused by a lower deposition rate obtained when employing HiPIMS. The same is not seen for Cr, where all deposited films exhibit the same tilting angle. When the column tilting of Cu and Cr is compared a large difference is observed, where the columns of Cr are closer to the substrate normal. The reasons for this difference are discussed in light of nucleation and growth characteristics in the two materials. X-ray diffraction analysis reveals that Cu films exhibit an (111) fiber texture. Comparison of films grown by DCMS and HiPIMS shows that in the HiPIMS cases the grains are closer to the surface normal and better oriented with each other. In the case of Cr both DCMS and HiPIMS grown films are (110) biaxially aligned.