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Title: Effect of Ti-Al cathode composition on plasma generation and plasma transport in direct current vacuum arc

DC arc plasma from Ti, Al, and Ti{sub 1-x}Al{sub x} (x = 0.16, 0.25, 0.50, and 0.70) compound cathodes was characterized with respect to plasma chemistry and charge-state-resolved ion energy. Scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy of the deposited films and the cathode surfaces were used for exploring the correlation between cathode-, plasma-, and film composition. Experimental work was performed at a base pressure of 10{sup −6} Torr, to exclude plasma-gas interaction. The plasma ion composition showed a reduction of Al of approximately 5 at. % compared to the cathode composition, while deposited films were in accordance with the cathode stoichiometry. This may be explained by presence of neutrals in the plasma/vapour phase. The average ion charge states (Ti = 2.2, Al = 1.65) were consistent with reference data for elemental cathodes, and approximately independent on the cathode composition. On the contrary, the width of the ion energy distributions (IEDs) were drastically reduced when comparing the elemental Ti and Al cathodes with Ti{sub 0.5}Al{sub 0.5}, going from ∼150 and ∼175 eV to ∼100 and ∼75 eV for Ti and Al ions, respectively. This may be explained by a reduction in electron temperature, commonly associated with the high energy tail of the IED. The average Ti and Almore » ion energies ranged between ∼50 and ∼61 eV, and ∼30 and ∼50 eV, respectively, for different cathode compositions. The attained energy trends were explained by the velocity rule for compound cathodes, which states that the most likely velocities of ions of different mass are equal. Hence, compared to elemental cathodes, the faster Al ions will be decelerated, and the slower Ti ions will be accelerated when originating from compound cathodes. The intensity of the macroparticle generation and thickness of the deposited films were also found to be dependent on the cathode composition. The presented results may be of importance for choice of cathodes for thin film depositions involving compound cathodes.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Thin Film Physics Division, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM), Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping (Sweden)
  2. (Liechtenstein)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22271165
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 115; Journal Issue: 12; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; ALUMINIUM; ALUMINIUM IONS; APPROXIMATIONS; CATHODES; CHARGE STATES; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; CONCENTRATION RATIO; CORRELATIONS; DIRECT CURRENT; ELECTRON TEMPERATURE; ENERGY SPECTRA; SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY; SOLID-STATE PLASMA; SURFACES; THIN FILMS; TITANIUM; TITANIUM IONS; X-RAY DIFFRACTION; X-RAY SPECTROSCOPY