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Proceedings Paper

Low-pressure reactive dc-magnetron sputter deposition of metal-oxide thin films
Author(s): Bradley J. Pond; Tu Du; J. Sobczak; Charles K. Carniglia; Forrest L. Williams
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Paper Abstract

Improvements in magnetron sputtering technology have made it possible to deposit compound thin films at total pressures as low as approximately 1 X 10-4 torr. Deposition at these lower pressures increases the mean free path of molecules within the vacuum chamber, thereby allowing for greater adatom energies on the substrate surface. By increasing adatom energy, low-pressure dc-magnetron sputtering can lead to the deposition of dense metal-oxide films that are resistant to the adsorption of atmospheric water (H2O). We report results showing improved environmental stability in single-layer films of silica (SiO2) and alumina (Al2O3) deposited using a 8-in-diameter dc magnetron source. Metal targets were used, with argon (Ar) as the sputtering gas and oxygen (O2) as the reactive gas. The silicon target was doped with 5-percent Al to improve its electrical conductivity. The effects of target voltage, Ar partial pressure, and O2 partial pressure were studied. In addition, several source geometries were tested in order to optimize the coating thickness uniformity. Film moisture content was characterized by spectral transmittance near the H2O optical absorption band at 2.8 micrometers . Deposition at total pressures < 3 X 10-4 torr resulted in SiO2 coatings with minimal H2O content, while all Al2O3 coatings exhibited no H2O content.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 July 1992
PDF: 18 pages
Proc. SPIE 1624, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 1991, (29 July 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.60124
Show Author Affiliations
Bradley J. Pond, S. Systems Corp. (United States)
Tu Du, S. Systems Corp. (United States)
J. Sobczak, S. Systems Corp. (United States)
Charles K. Carniglia, S. Systems Corp. (United States)
Forrest L. Williams, S. Systems Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1624:
Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 1991
Harold E. Bennett; Lloyd L. Chase; Arthur H. Guenther; Brian Emerson Newnam; M. J. Soileau, Editor(s)

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