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.

新一代的OES (EMICON)在等离子工艺应用上的重要性

回顾等离子工艺使用OES (Optical Emission Spectroscopy)的历史,早在1980年代,已有不少大型的玻璃工业尝试使用OES来协助等离子工艺在量化生产的稳定性,同时,也利用OES的特殊性能开发等离子工艺能够使用的新材料。1990年初期,OES著名的代表产品称为PEM (Plasma Emission Monitor)正式在生产大楼帷幕玻璃的等离子溅射流水线上使用,从single Low-e的能源玻璃进化到更具节能效果的double Low-e规范,到了1990年末期,更应用在平面显示器的镀膜工艺上。在2000年以前发展的PEM,多半采用 窄通滤光器 NBPF (Narrow Band-Passed Filter)搭配一个极为灵敏的 光电倍增管 PMT (Photo Multiplier Tube),透过一套单晶片的处理器计算侦测讯号强度与内部设定强度的差异,将差异值输出到控制反应气体的流量单元: 早期使用的多半是一个 流量计 (flow meter)搭载一颗 压电陶瓷阀 PZT  (Lead zirconate titanate: Pb[ZrxTi1-x]O3 0≤x≤1) valve,反应气体的流量经过变化,再次侦测等离子的强度,不断用回路的方式进行修正,让实际侦测的强度趋近内部设定值。为了稳定PEM的控制,PID计算的控制器也成为PEM Closed Loop Control (PEM闭锁回路控制)中很重要的一个角色。由于等离子工艺进步迅速,加上应用市场快速开发,对于镀膜的质量要求越来越严苛。不仅镀膜的质量在同质性(homogeniety: 镀膜期间随著厚度增加时的质量均匀性)的要求增高,同时对镀膜速率的提升也有很大的期许。

SpecLine分析等离子光谱的结果 (感谢德国PLASUS公司提供图片)

因此,2000年开始,新一代的PEM (EMICON: EMISSION CONTROLLER) 不再使用频宽不够精密的窄通滤光器,改用线性的电荷耦合器件CCD,大幅提升光谱的分辨率(resolution),不但谱线的位置准确,也因为光谱的分辨率提升,把主要用来监控的原子谱线与旁边夹杂的其他杂讯可以轻易地分离,让控制的范围加大且大幅改善控制的精度。这十年在分光仪的工艺上有长足的进步,不仅光谱的分辨率越来越好,也改善CCD的感光度,这些进步的优点,也替新一代的PEM EMICON打开更多应用的市场。虽然新一代的PEM EMICON在价格上较旧型的PEM贵了许多,但不可抹灭的,新一代的PEM EMICON提供更多更精准的性能让生产与研发有更好的信赖度与发展空间。长期使用的成本估算却是远较旧型要节省不少,最重要的是能够让生产线稳定,增加产能也增加营收。

现今,热门的应用如:大气等离子、大楼帷幕玻璃、平面显示器的生产、触摸屏生产、微机电、太阳能电池、半导体、装饰镀膜、超硬膜与光学镀膜都必须搭載新一代的PEM EMICON,来保障生产的稳定与信赖。

以下是新一代PEM EMICON在等离子工艺中不可或缺的几项重要特徵:

  1. 在过渡区域(hysteresis region)能快速有效地稳定在设定点
  2. 可提高镀膜速率(deposition rate)
  3. 可做线上的质量管理(online QC)
磁滞曲线

对于等离子工艺系统(或设备)商而言,新一代的PEM EMICON不但能够提升等离子工艺研发的能力,更可以建立自我的等离子工艺资料库,大幅缩短在客户端装机验收的时间,也能够提供客户快速的检修服务。特别是溅射的流水线(inline sputter coater)与批量型的生产机台(batch type),十分适用。除了等离子工艺的研发,同时也兼具等离子工艺系统(或设备)的除错功能,让设备商有能力自我改善设备的设计,让性能与稳定性提升。

A New Honey Comb Device To Protect Expensive Quartz Window Of View Port

Wow! It’s a long time not to write an article in this blog. In the past years, a new developed honey comb device which provides a solution to solve the contamination problem on quartz window of view port. From time to time, the contamination onto the quartz (or pyrex) window of the view port coming from the processes of plasma CVD, etching, sputtering, arc PVD, evaportation PVD always raise up the maintenance costs and reduce the productivity. Nowadays a state-of-the-art honey comb device is well-developed.

 

Fig. 1 Up to 600°C without center ring in CF type; Up to 200°C in KF type.

 

There are several selections to fit the view port’s type and dimension. With the aid of this honey comb protection device, the quartz (or pyrex) window can be protected not to be contaminated. It’s also very easy to clean this device by following some simple instructions.

Fig. 2 Different diameters are available.


We are very appreciated in the pictures provided by PLASUS.