Optimizing the triggering mode for stable operation of a pulsed cathodic arc deposition system

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Journal Article
Plasma Sources Science and Technology, 2003, 12 (4), pp. 508 - 512
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In order to deposit fine structures such as nanoscale multilayer using a pulsed cathodic arc, it is necessary to ensure that the deposition per pulse is stable over a large number of pulses. We compare the deposition rate using centre and edge triggering in a pulsed catholic arc system by determining the rate of change of thickness of a growing film. Three arc currents were used and the results indicated that the centre triggering configuration provides a constant deposition rate when compared to edge triggering. It was also observed that the highest arc current in the centre mode showed the most uniform deposition rate. The erosion profile of the cathodes for the two different triggering types were examined and used to explain the differences in terms of uniformity of erosion. We also measured the discharge voltage and found that there was an increase with increasing arc current.
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