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AC Reactive Sputter Deposition Process for Hard Carbon Coatings

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000112722D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 56K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Schulz, KJ: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is an AC reactive sputter deposition process for depositing hard carbon coatings at high rates with controllable hydrogen concentration. This process does not have the problems of arcing and plasma instability which commonly occur in DC and RF carbon sputtering (1). Furthermore, unlike Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD) processes, AC reactive sputtering does not require a DC substrate bias in order to obtain a high-density, low-stress film (2).

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AC Reactive Sputter Deposition Process for Hard Carbon Coatings

      Disclosed is an AC reactive sputter deposition process for
depositing hard carbon coatings at high rates with controllable
hydrogen concentration.  This process does not have the problems of
arcing and plasma instability which commonly occur in DC and RF
carbon sputtering (1).  Furthermore, unlike Plasma-Enhanced Chemical
Vapor Deposition (PECVD) processes, AC reactive sputtering does not
require a DC substrate bias in order to obtain a high-density,
low-stress film (2).

      This process utilizes low frequency AC power with magnetron
sputter targets and deposition occurs both from sputtering from a
graphite target and PECVD of hydrocarbon feed gases such as methane.

      Low frequency AC power in the frequency range 30-150 KHz is
used with a simple impedance matching network consisting of a
variable capacitor.

      Mixtures of argon and hydrocarbon gases such as methane are
used in the pressure range of 3 to 30 mTorr.  Gas distribution is
accomplished using perforated tubes which run along the length of
both sides of the targets as is shown in the Figure below.
Uniformity is controlled by adjusting the size and spacing of the
perforations.

      A conventional planar magnetron sputter assembly is used with a
graphite target.  The Figure below shows the configuration of the
magnetron assembly together with the gas distribution system and
shielding.

      With this arran...