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Sputter yield amplification by tungsten doping of Al2O 3 employing reactive serial co-sputtering: Process characteristics and resulting film properties

: Austgen, M.; Koehl, D.; Zalden, P.; Kubart, T.; Nyberg, T.; Pflug, A.; Siemers, M.; Berg, S.; Wuttig, M.


Journal of Physics. D. Applied Physics 44 (2011), Nr.34, Art. 345501
ISSN: 0022-3727
ISSN: 1361-6463
Fraunhofer FIT ()
Fraunhofer IST ()

The deposition rate of reactively sputtered Al2O3 coatings is demonstrated to increase by 80% upon tungsten doping of the used aluminium target. This effect is based on the recoil of the sputtering species at implanted dopants below the target surface and is termed sputter yield amplification. For the investigation of this effect, a novel type of magnetron sputter deposition system is employed that facilitates serial co-sputtering. In this technique doping of the elementary target is enabled by a dynamic sputtering process from an auxiliary cathode. In our case, the rotating aluminium target is dynamically coated with tungsten from this auxiliary cathode. Since the primary target rotates, the auxiliary cathode is placed in series with the primary erosion zone. The deposition rate of Al 2O3 can be considerably increased in this process already for very low concentrations of approximately 1% of tungsten in the resulting film. A characterization of the dynamics of reactive sputtering as a function of target rotation speed is performed.