Types of magnetron sputtering (2)
It is easy to sputter metals and alloys with a magnetron target source, and it is easy to ignite and sputter. This is because the target (cathode), plasma and sputtered parts/vacuum chamber can form a loop. But if the insulator (such as ceramic) is sputtered, the circuit is broken. So people use high-frequency power supplies and add strong capacitors to the loop, so that the target becomes a capacitor in the insulated loop. However, the high frequency magnetron sputtering power supply is expensive, the sputtering rate is very small, and the grounding technology is very complicated, so it is difficult to adopt on a large scale. To solve this problem, magnetron reactive sputtering was invented. That is, a metal target is used, and argon and reactive gases such as nitrogen or oxygen are added. When the metal target material hits the part due to energy conversion, it combines with the reaction gas to form nitride or oxide.
Magnetron reactive sputtering insulators seems easy, but the actual operation is difficult. The main problem is that the reaction not only occurs on the surface of the part, but also occurs on the anode, the surface of the vacuum chamber and the surface of the target source, causing fire extinguishing, arcing on the surface of the target source and the workpiece, etc. The twin target source technology invented by German Leybold solves this problem well. The principle is that a pair of target sources are mutually anode and cathode to eliminate oxidation or nitridation on the anode surface.
Cooling is necessary for all sources (magnetron, multi-arc, ions), because a large part of the energy is converted into heat. If there is no cooling or insufficient cooling, this heat will make the target source temperature more than one thousand degrees and melt the entire target source .
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