The strength and direction of magnetic fields of magnetron sputtering systems, including single and multi cathodes, are modeled by computer software based on electromagnetic theories (Maxwell's equations) and finite element analysis. The results of the modeling of magnetic fields are shown to agree closely with the actual measurements of magnetic fields and the resulting target erosion pattern. The pattern of the magnetic field inside the sputtering chamber affects the distribution of plasma density and the substrate bias current density, which, together with the bias potential, determine the film properties. The modeling can be very useful to help in the design and development of new types of magnetron sputtering cathodes and multi-cathode sputtering systems to improve target utilization, sputtering efficiency and properties of deposited films.
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