A computer simulation was created to model the transport of sputtered atoms through an ionized physical vapor deposition (IPVD) system. The simulation combines Monte Carlo and fluid methods to track the metal atoms that are emitted from the target, interact with the IPVD plasma, and are eventually deposited somewhere in the system. Ground-state neutral, excited, and ionized metal atoms are tracked. The simulation requires plasma conditions to be specified by the user. Langmuir probe measurements were used to determine these parameters in an experimental system in order to compare simulation results with experiment. The primary product of the simulation is a prediction of the ionization fraction of the sputtered atom flux at the substrate under various conditions. This quantity was experimentally measured and the results compared to the simulation. Experiment and simulation differ significantly. It is hypothesized that heating of the background gas due to the intense sputtered atom flux at the target is primarily responsible for this difference. Heating of the background gas is not accounted for in the simulation. Difficulties in accurately measuring plasma parameters, especially electron temperature, are also significant.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)