Hollow Cathode-Enhanced RF Sputtering System
Original Publication Date: 1986-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-08
The present system consists of an existing RF sputtering system which has been modified by the addition of a critically placed hollow cathode. Hollow cathode operation has been described in detail in the literature [*]. The function of the hollow cathode is to emit energetic electrons into the plasma of the RF device. Those emitted electrons are energetic enough to cause additional ionization of the background gas, and hence form a denser plasma than was possible with simply the applied RF voltage alone. This denser plasma formed by the hollow cathode electrons causes additional ion bombardment of the RF target cathode and increased sputtering and deposition rates. The system consists of a primary electrode 11 which is sometimes called the cathode. A counter electrode 12 is usually present, but not absolutely necessary.