Advanced diagnostics of reactive HiPIMS plasma for deposition of oxide, nitride and sulfide layers

Research in the Reactive High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (R-HiPIMS) field is still in its early stages mainly focusing on compound film characterisation rather than on the description of processes accompanying the deposition. The aim of the project is to well understand relationships between the R-HiPIMS process modes (metallic, transition and compound) and the local parameters of the deposition plasma (such as the energies and fluxes of different species on the substrate, electron density and distribution functions, and sputtered species number densities). The project focuses on the characterisation of the R-HiPIMS process by advanced plasma diagnostics tools during deposition of oxide, nitride or sulphide thin films with the aim to increase the level of understanding of the R-HiPIMS process. Particular attention will be paid to study of the plasma instabilities (so called spokes) which occur at the HiPIMS conditions and to assess the impact of the spoke presence on the R-HiPIMS deposition process. Experimental results will be compared with theoretical models.