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The Technology


A remote, high density plasma is generated in a side arm adjacent to the vacuum chamber. This side arm is referred to as the plasma launch system (PLS). It consists of a quartz tube surrounded by a copper antennae coil. The antennae couples the rf power into the argon gas at reduced pressure. An electromagnet at the exit of the PLS enhances and confines the plasma resulting in a diffuse beam that surrounds the substrate assembly. In this configuration, the relatively low energy argon ions (<30 eV) impinging the substrate remove volatile species resulting in improved coating adhesion. A second electromagnet located beneath the vacuum chamber then steers the plasma onto the target. With the application of a sufficient negative DC bias, high rate, uniform sputtering of the target material commences. Hence, the name given to this technique is high target utilisation sputtering (HiTUS). Typical ion densities achievable using HiTUS are 1013 cm-3.

Plasma Quest Technology


For more information download background to the operation of the PQL Plasma Technology.pdf

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