Observation of self-sputtering in energetic condensation of metal ions

Anders, André
December 2004
Applied Physics Letters;12/20/2004, Vol. 85 Issue 25, p6137
Academic Journal
The condensation of energetic metal ions on a surface may cause self-sputtering even in the absence of substrate bias. Charge-state-averaged self-sputtering yields were determined for both zirconium and gold ions generated by a cathodic vacuum arc. Films were deposited on differently biased substrates exposed to streaming Zr and Au vacuum arc plasma. The self-sputtering yields for both metals were estimated to be about 0.05 in the absence of bias, and exceeding 0.5 when bias reached -50 V. These surprisingly high values can be reconciled with binary collision theory and molecular dynamics calculations taking the high kinetic and potential energy of vacuum arc ions into account.


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