In pulse and HIPIMS plasmas the degree of ionization is one main factor for layer density while layer stoichiometry is ruled by the plasma composition of metal and reactive gas species. Changing either parameter will affect also the other parameter. Thus controlling both, degree of ionization as well as stoichiometry simultaneously can only be realized by combining different measuring and controlling methods.
The new Pulse and HIPIMS sensor of the EMICON SA system records the pulse current and pulse voltage curves and combines the evaluation of the electrical data with the data from the spectroscopic plasma monitoring technique in a single system. All sensor signals are evaluated in a common control algorithm realizing reliable and stable process control of both plasma parameters.
Independent control the ionization degree and reactive gas flow is now possible in reactive pulse and HIPIMS process and opens the door to many new applications in R&D and industry.