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Article June 11th, 2012 (GPD South America 2012) 0
Doug Pelleymounter, Dan Carter
In large-area coating applications, arcs—or particle contamination caused by arcs—can contribute to costly film defects and process interruptions. Charge buildups on small areas of the target can cause electrical breakdowns, or arcs, which manifest as particles on the substrate—leading to defects, pinholes, rate reduction, short circuits, or other undesirable process disturbances and loss of film quality. Entire lots are oftentimes scrapped due to poor quality thin film layers, and severe arcing can damage equipment and shut down entire lines for maintenance. Arc management is therefore a primary concern in sputtering processes; however, the solution can be as simple as adding a DC pulsing accessory. This paper discuses how application and process engineers can and should rely on power conversion technologies to do much more than supply power but effectively manage arcs for greater surface control, film quality, and overall process control.