The effect of long-range screening on the surface morphology of thin films grown with pulsed-dc (p-dc) magnetron sputtering is studied. The surface evolution is described by a stochastic diffusion equation that includes the nonlocal shadowing effects in three spatial dimensions. The diffusional relaxation and the angular distribution of the incident particle flux strongly influence the transition to the shadowing growth regime. In the magnetron sputtering deposition the shadowing effect is essential because of the configuration of the magnetron system (finite size of sputtered targets, rotating sample holder, etc.).A realistic angular distribution of depositing particles is constructed by taking into account the cylindrical magnetron geometry. Simulation results are compared with the experimental data of surface roughness evolution during 100 and 350 kHz p-dc deposition, respectively.
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