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Comparison of filtered high-current pulsed arc deposition (phi-HCA) with conventional vacuum arc methods

: Witke, T.; Schülke, T.; Schultrich, B.; Siemroth, P.; Vetter, J.


Surface and coatings technology 126 (2000), No.1, pp.81-88
ISSN: 0257-8972
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IWS ()
vacuum arc; Plasma filter; Hard coatings; Optical films; Metallic films; Bogentechnologie; Plasmadiagnostik; Kohlenstoff-Schichten; PVD

Special features of the filtered high-current pulsed arc deposition f-HCA are presented in comparison with the conventional dc-arc method. The high-current arc technique allows pulse currents of some kiloamperes and averaged arc currents of approximately 1 kA. Due to the high spot velocity the droplet density is already markedly reduced. The remaining particles may be completely eliminated by combination with a magnetic filter. The optimum design of this device together with the high efficiency of the pulsed arc source yields ion currents at the filter exit above 100 A during a pulsed arc and above 10-A averaged current. High quality films with deposition rates of industrial relevance may be produced by advanced arc techniques. Various coatings such as metal refractory nitrides, oxides and hard coatings are investigated and compared with the conventional dc-arc deposition. It is shown that the f-HCA module is a promising supplementary device that can be attached to industrial standard equipment for various applications demanding smooth mirror-like metallic hard coatings.