High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering

High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering

High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering

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High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HIPIMS, also known as High Power Pulsed Magnetron Sputtering, HPPMS) is a method for physical vapor deposition of thin films which is based on magnetron sputter deposition. HIPIMS utilises extremely high power densities of the order of kWcm<sup>−2</sup> in short pulses (impulses) of tens of microseconds at low duty cycle (on/off time ratio) of < 10%. A distinguishing feature of HIPIMS is its high degree of ionisation of the sputtered metal and high rate of molecular gas dissociation.

HIPIMS is used for:
  • adhesion enhancing pretreatment of the substrate prior to coating deposition (substrate etching)
  • deposition of thin films with high microstructure density

The first US patent on HIPIMS was filed by Vladimir Kouznetsov (priority date 9 Dec 1997), Kouznetsov US 6296742 B1.

HIPIMS Plasma Discharge

HIPIMS plasma is generated by a glow discharge where the discharge current density can reach up to 6 Acm<sup>−2</sup>, whilst the discharge voltage is maintained at several hundred volts. The discharge is homogeneously distributed across the surface of the cathode of the chamber.HIPIMS generates a high density plasma of the order of 10<sup>13</sup> ions cm<sup>−3</sup> containing high fractions of target metal ions. The main ionisation mechanism is electron impact, which is...
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