Proceedings PaperOptical thin films deposited by energetic particle processes
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Various processes can generate energetic particles suitable for thin film deposition. In some more commonly used energetic deposition processes, auxiliary ions bombard a growing film, or evaporated coating material is ionized and accelerated toward the substrate. Ion assisted deposition (IAD), ion beam deposition (IBD), ionized cluster beam deposition (ICBD), and reactive low voltage ion plating (RLVIP) are such processes. Coating material species can be ejected also from a solid target at high velocity, for example, in ion beam sputtering (IBS). These processes generate an average energy per deposited particle that is significantly higher than for thermal or electron beam evaporation (where it is only approximately equals 0.1 eV). Higher energy results in higher surface mobility and, in turn, higher density of the growing films, as the condensing species can fill all or most of the available surface sites. The effect of higher particle energy (>= 5 eV) on thin film deposition is comparable to a transient liquid film formation. This is true even for highly refractory oxides if the thermal equivalent of the average particle energy exceeds the melting point of the coating material. An extension of the well-known structure zone model of Movchan and Demchishin with a Zone 4 represents the vitreous phase seen for some oxide thin films deposited with energetic particle processes.