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Physical vapor deposition (PVD) techniques used to prepare, e.g., hard TiN, HfN, or ZrN coatings include a great variety of processes ranging from reactive evaporation to sputtering and ion plating. In ion plating one effective way to enhance ionization is to use a negatively biased hot filament. The use of an electron emitting filament brings an extra variable to be taken into account in developing the process control. In addition, proper control of the evaporation source is critical in ensuring reproducible results. With optical emission spectroscopy (OES) it should be possible to control the coating process more accurately. The stoichiometry and the composition of the growing coating may then be ensured effectively in subsequent runs. In this work the application of optical emission spectroscopy for process control in triode ion plating is discussed. The composition of the growing coating is determined experimentally using the relative intensities of specific emission lines. Changes in the evaporation rate and the gas flow can be seen directly from emission line intensities. Even the so‐called poisoning of the evaporation source with reactive gas can be detected. Several experimental runs were carried out and afterwards the concentration profiles of the deposited coatings were checked with the nuclear resonance broadening (NRB) method. The results show the usefulness of emission spectroscopy in discharge control.
Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films (Volume:3 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: Nov 1985