Downstream plasma transport and ionization processes in a high-powered pulsed-plasma magnetron were studied. The temporal evolution and spatial distribution of electron density (ne) and temperature (Te) were characterized with a 3D scanning triple Langmuir probe. Plasma expanded from the racetrack region into the downstream region, where a high ne peak was formed some time into the pulse-off period. The expansion speed and directionality towards the substrate increased with a stronger magnetic field (B), largely as a consequence of a larger potential drop in the bulk plasma region during a relatively slower sheath formation. The fraction of Cu ions in the deposition flux was measured on the substrate using a gridded energy analyzer. It increased with higher pulse voltage. With increased B field from 200 to 800 Gauss above racetrack, ne increased but the Cu ion fraction decreased from 42% to 16%. A comprehensive model was built, including the diffusion of as-sputtered Cu flux, the Cu ionization in the entire plasma region using the mapped ne and Te data, and ion extraction efficiency based on the measured plasma potential (Vp) distribution. The calculations matched the measurements and indicated the main causes of lower Cu ion fractions in stronger B fields to be the lower Te and inefficient ion extraction in a larger pre-sheath potential.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)