Reactive Magnetron Sputter Deposition


Course Trainer 
Professor Diederik Depla
Ghent University, Belgium 

Sunday 16 June 2024 (1-day course)
9am to 5pm  
Crowne Plaza, Harrogate

Cost: £80pp (included in the fee: access to the course, trainer's presentation as a handout, refreshments and lunch). During registration there is an option to buy a book to accompany the course (it's not endorsed by the IOP). The pre-ordered books will be handed out at the start of the course.

Course objectives 

  • Understand the fundamental processes driving (reactive) magnetron sputtering 
  • Develop strategies for dedicated experiments to unravel the complexity of reactive magnetron sputtering 
  • To get a good overview of the current literature and modelling techniques.
Course description 

Reactive magnetron sputter deposition is a mature technique often used in laboratories and at industrial level to grow compound thin films. The growth of these films is defined by the deposition conditions, and therefore a good knowledge of the deposition process is essential to tune the growth and as such the film properties. After a short introduction on the physics of sputtering, the magnetron discharge and the transport of sputtered atoms through the gas phase, the course starts with a few definitions regarding reactive sputtering to show that the processes driving this technique are general applicable. This introduction assists the attendee to the next step : the description of the most common experiment during reactive magnetron sputtering, the hysteresis experiment. The simplicity of this experiment fools initially the scientist because it hides a complex interplay between different processes that define the actual outcome of the experiment. During the course, the details of this experiment are analysed, and modelling is used to guide the attendee. In this way, the attendee will gain knowledge in a wealth of important process controlling the film growth. A good knowledge of these processes will arm the attendee to analyse and to control the reactive sputtering process. 

Course content 

  • Sputtering : physics of sputtering, and transport of sputtered atoms 
  • Magnetron discharges : typical features, electron emission, excitation and ionization 
  • Hysteresis experiments : what can we learn from this “simple” experiment ? 
  • Influence of deposition parameters 
  • Dynamics of reactive sputter deposition 
  • Arcing 
  • Discharge voltage behaviour
  • Process parameters and thin film growth 
  • Questions and answers.
Who should attend? This course is intended for engineers, scientists, and students Interested in reactive sputter deposition and its applications. 

Course materials. Lecture notes based on the handbook “Magnetrons, reactive gases and sputtering” will be provided.

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