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Research on promising applications for high power pulse magnetron sputtering

: Sittinger, V.; Szyszka, B.; Bandorf, R.; Vergöhl, M.; Pflug, A.; Christie, D.J.; Ruske, F.

Society of Vacuum Coaters -SVC-, Albuquerque/NM:
Society of Vacuum Coaters. 51st Annual Technical Conference 2008. Proceedings : April 19 - 24, 2008, Chicago, IL, USA
Albuquerque: SVC, 2008
Society of Vacuum Coaters (Annual Technical Conference) <51, 2008, Chicago/Ill.>
Fraunhofer IST ()

High-power pulse magnetron sputtering (HPPMS) attracts many researchers`attention due to the high degree of sputtered material ionization during the coating process. The material ionization has already been shows to be advantageous for coating surfaces with high aspect ratios or for deposition of hard coatings based on metal nitrides. Therefore at Fraunhofer IST, the deposition of metals and metal oxides has been investigated with regard to different HPPMS applications. Properties of conventional DC and MF sputtered coatings were compared with the HPPMS one`s.
The research was focussed on different applications and materials:
i) Silver is commonly used for low emissivity coatings.
Lowering the specific resistivity yields a better performance of the low E coating. Results on silver deposition are given and discussed.
ii) NiCr is commonly used as strain sensitive material for strain gauges. The gauge factor of NiCr is k ~2. Especially surface integrated strain sensors use sputtered NiCr films. For aging, an annealing procedure at approx. 300°C was applied. New attempts using HPPMS showed that the crystal size of the growing film is influenced by the process resulting in stable as deposited films whereas no further annealing is required.
iii) Titanium oxide is an important material for various applications such as photo catalytic or optical films. Depending on specific demands like density, micro hardness, refractive index or wear resistance have to be optimized.
iv)Transparent conductive oxides (TCO) cover a wide range of materials and applications. ITO and ZnO:Al investigated and are discussed with respect to applicability for displays and solar cells.
Electrical properties and structural analysis of the deposited films are presented. Advantages and disadvantages of HPPMS coatings are discussed and compared with conventional sputtered coatings. Differences in respect to material properties and superior applications are shown.