Deposition of alumina films by inverted cylindrical magnetron sputtering assisted by optical emission spectroscopy

Khanna, Atul ; Bhat, Deepak G.


Alumina coatings have been deposited on glass substrates by reactive ac (41 kHz) magnetron sputtering of two hollow aluminum targets in argon-oxygen plasma at 5 kW sputtering power in the poisoned mode and in the unstable region of hysteresis loop of reactive sputtering. The poisoned mode produces nanocrystalline films of and alumina at a low deposition rate of 0.06 nm·s-1. Amorphous alumina films have been grown at a higher deposition rate of 0.2 nm·s-1 with the aid of optical emission spectroscopy in which the feedback signal of Al emission spectral line at 396 nm monitored Al concentration in the plasma discharge and accomplished the controlled oxidation of targets during reactive sputtering. Dynamic secondary ion mass spectroscopy studies confirm that alumina films grown in the unstable region of the hysteresis loop of reactive sputtering are highly stoichiometric and of uniform composition with film thickness. Our study demonstrates the successful coupling of optical emission spectroscopy with hollow cylindrical magnetrons for deposition of alumina films.


Alumina films;Reactive sputtering; Inverted cylindrical magnetrons; Optical emission spectroscopy; XRD; SIMS

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