PDC Magnetron Sputtering

Thin Film

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PDC Magnetron Sputtering

Pulsed Direct Current (PDC) Magnetron Sputtering is a technique where the plasma is generated using a pulsed direct current, greatly reducing the chances of arcing during film deposition.

By carefully choosing appropriate parameters, reactive sputtering takes place during the ‘pulse’ phase of the applied current & during the ‘off’ phase, the surface of the target is discharged by the plasma.

Certain optical films that were previously difficult to reliably manufacture can be improved using this method as well as improving control over deposition rates & film quality.

Helia’s own custom-built PDC sputtering equipment also includes:

  • Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy, allowing us to accurately measure the densities of particular chemical species & providing an accurate tool for controlling film composition & quality
  • a quadrupole residual-gas analyser (QPRGA) for accurately measuring process control parameters & contamination in the vacuum chamber
  • rugate capabilities where a controlled variation of refractive index is fabricated as opposed to a homogeneous thin-film layer, resulting in thin films with specific optical properties
  • in-situ etching, allowing us to modify surfaces prior to deposition, a system specifically designed & built by Helia to improve facet damage thresholds