Spatial distribution of average charge state and deposition rate in high power impulse magnetron sputtering of copper

Publication Type

Journal Article



The spatial distribution of copper ions and atoms in high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS) discharges was determined by (i) measuring the ion current to electrostatic probes and (ii) measuring the film thickness by profilometry. A set of electrostatic and collection probes were placed at different angular positions and distances from the target surface. The angular distribution of the deposition rate and the average charge state of the copper species (including ions and neutrals) were deduced. The discharge showed a distinct transition to a high current mode dominated by copper self-sputtering when the applied voltage exceeded the threshold of 535 V. For a lower voltage, the deposition rate was very low and the average charge state was found to be less than 0.4. For higher voltage (and average power), the absolute deposition rates were much higher, but they were smaller than the corresponding direct current (DC) rates if normalized to the same average power. At the high voltage level, the spatial distribution of the average charge state showed some similarities with the distribution of the magnetic field, suggesting that the generation and motion of copper ions is affected by magnetized electrons. At higher voltage, the average charge state increases with the distance from the target and locally may exceed unity, indicating the presence of significant amounts of doubly charged copper ions.


Journal of Physics D



Year of Publication



Research Areas

Related Files