Advances in Thin Film Technology through the Application of Modulated Pulse Power Sputtering
High power pulsed magnetron sputtering (HPPMS) is an emerging thin film deposition technology that generate high ionization plasma by applying a very large amount of peak power to a sputtering target for a short period of time. HPPMS is also known as High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HiPIMS). However, HPPMS/HiPIMS exhibits decreased deposition rate as compared to continuous dc magnetron sputtering. Modulated pulse power (MPP) magnetron sputtering is an alternative HPPIMS deposition technique that overcomes the rate loss problem while still achieving a high degree of ionization of the sputtered material. In the present work, the principles and some important characteristics of MPP technology were presented. Technical examples of CrN coatings were deposited using MPP and continuous dc sources. The positive ion mass distributions were characterized using an electrostatic quadrupole plasma mass spectrometer. The structure and properties of MPP and dc CrN coatings were characterized using x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, nanoindentation tests, and ball-on-disc wear test. It was found that the MPP CrN coating exhibits denser microstructure and improved mechanical and tribological properties as compared to the dc CrN coating.
T. Chandra, N. Wanderka, W. Reimers , M. Ionescu
B. Mishra et al., "Advances in Thin Film Technology through the Application of Modulated Pulse Power Sputtering", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 638-642, pp. 208-213, 2010