Advanced Coatings in HIPIMS hybrid MF magnetron sputtering with the aid of EMICON closed loop feedback control

Recenly lots of requests on advanced coating configuration in HIPIMS magnetron sputtering: higher deposition rate and high coating layer quality are key demands. With HIPIMS magnetron sputtering, to have the highest thin film quality is for sure, however, the slow deposition rate is still a big concern comparing to MF magnetron sputtering. How to combine both advantages (high quality and high deposition rate) and how to perform the optimized coating layer in a reasonable and cost-effective configuration become a hot topic for R&D and industrials.

Magpuls Power supply can switch the output mode either MF or HIPIMS. And a special function to combine both in hybrid output waveform pattern via. a built-in PulsTrain waveform editor in the pulse unit. Recipes can be saved and recalled easily. For remote control, a full control over all parameters (time-settings, arc-settings, operating mode changing) to proceed the real-time online dynamic adjustments and controlling can be achieved via a LAN communication to a PC software which end user can design a special remote-control program running on the remote control PC. An EMICON system is the key technology to govern the film properties and quality. Through EMICON system’s setpoint for a closed loop PID control over the flow rate of MFC, the output voltage of a power supply, or even the pulse frequency of the pulse power supply, it’s very flexible to handle precisely the quality control of deposited layer in mechanical, optical and electrical properties. In the combination with EMICON (plasma emission monitor) online quality control and Magpuls stable output pulse patterned waveform, the plasma impedance can be kept very stable and the film growth has high quality in the best performances. Adding some end point conditions can enhance the power of online quality control in real time mode. Such an advanced coating configuration brings a new era for HIPIMS and MF hybrid coating to create new coating materials and applications.

References:
1. Magpuls

2. Plasus

3. Applied Optivac Technology, Inc.

反应式等离子溅射镀膜工艺的三宝

进行等离子溅射镀膜工艺时,有三项宝物是不可或缺的。

  1. 等离子工艺监控器 (plasma monitor and process controller)
  2. 脉冲式直流电源 (pulsed DC power supply) 或是 中频交流电源 (MF AC power supply)
  3. 磁控溅射靶 (magnetron sputtering source) 或称 阴极靶 (cathode source)

第1项的等离子工艺监控器主要负责镀膜的质量与镀率的稳定。

对反应气体(reactive gas)采用高速的PID闭锁回路控制(PID closed loop control),将检测到的等离子信号强度比对内部设定的预设值,根据比对的结果,转成电压信号将差异值输出到负责供应气体的质流量计(MFC: mass flow controller),改变供应气体的流量来修正实际等离子体实际反应的状态。再撷取改变后的等离子体的信号强度,又经比对产生修正的电压信号,重复修正气体流量来变化等离子体的行为表现。如此周而复始,一直修正到实测的等离子体信号与内订的预设值接近,甚至相同。在反应式的溅射镀膜期间,需要能够快速反应改变气体的流量,主要目的在于稳定溅射出来的金属靶材原子或分子与反应气体之间能够维持在一个固定的比例(合金比例)。如果,变化反应气体的速度太慢,合金比例只能在饱和区维持,且镀膜速率将会很慢。要能够提高镀膜速率又能改变合金比例且维持稳定的镀膜状态,这个等离子工艺监控器扮演极为重要且关键的角色。

PID Closed Loop Contorl

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