Articles written in Pramana – Journal of Physics

    • Comparative study of discharge characteristics and associated film growth for post-cathode and inverted cylindrical magnetron sputtering


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      In this study, an experimental investigation of a DC cylindrical magnetron discharge for argon gas in post-cathode (i.e. direct) and hollow-cathode (i.e. inverted) configurations was carried out. The discharge properties at different externally applied magnetic fields and operating pressures were measured and compared for both the configurations. The discharge current ($I$)–voltage ($V$) characteristics obey $I \propto V^{n}$, where the value of $n$ is in the range of 3–8. The discharge current increases linearly with the magnetic field in the post-cathode configuration, whereas it saturates at higher magnetic fields in the case of inverted configuration. Measurement of plasma potential indicated a considerable anode fall in the inverted magnetron configuration, whereas a negligible anode fall and strong cathode fall were observed in the case of post-cathode configuration. The plasma density and electron temperature, measured using a double Langmuir probe, were observed to be higher in the inverted magnetron configuration. The plasma density was found to be maximum at around 3–4 cm away from the respective inner electrode in both the configurations. A clear change in surface morphology of copper thin film was observed in the case of inverted magnetron configuration, which might be due to the extra ionisation near the anode owing to the anode fall.

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