Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing, Vol.41, No.3, 713-744, 2021
Grid-Assisted Co-Sputtering Method: Background, Advancement, and Prospect
In this paper, the incorporation of auxiliary grids/electrodes into the design of the sputtering method is scrutinized by studying the impact of factors such as grid size, grid position, grid bias voltage, electrode sheath design, substrate bias voltage, reactive gas partial pressure, and magnetic trap configuration on the discharge condition and thin-film growth. In this regard, utilizing the updated Berg model for reactive sputtering, the authors obtained a formulation for the reactive grid-assisted sputtering. By the newly-developed formulation, the sputtering rate and the reactive gas partial pressure were simulated as a function of the reactive gas flow rate for various grid-to-target distances, argon partial pressures (0.67, 1.6, and 3.6 Pa), and discharge current densities (0.01, 0.015, and 0.02 A/cm(2)). According to the computation results, with a grid being utilized, the width of the hysteresis loops can be modified in a broader range by changing either the grid-to-target distance, the argon partial pressure, or the discharge current, resulting in better control over the deposition process. Moreover, the novel configuration of anode-spot-assisted sputtering was proposed to significantly ionize sputtered/neutral atoms near the substrate and to simultaneously deposit sputtered species and products produced as the direct result of introducing dust into the dense plasma. Finally, diverse configurations of the grid-assisted co-sputtering method were introduced for two prime purposes: deposition of composite films in any desired ratios of constituents without significantly changing the other co-sputtering parameters, and favorable alternation of a hysteresis loop for one of the guns at shared gas flow rates.