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Pressure limits for the vacuum arc deposition technique

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1 Author(s)
J. -L. Meunier ; Dept. of Chem. Eng., McGill Univ., Montreal, Que., Canada

Observations of the cathodic copper plasma expansion at low pressures of He, Ar, and SF6 showed that, for background gas mass densities of ρg=1 to 4×10-4 kg/m 3 and higher, the plasma and gas are separated into two volumes. A shock wave acts as a boundary between the two volumes. The boundary attains a stationary position once its expansion velocity decreases to the velocity of sound in the background gas. This position corresponds to a distance Rc to the cathode that agrees with a snowplow expansion model, giving Rc βf=Er, where f is a function of the arc current and background gas characteristics, E r is the erosion rate of the cathode, and β varies between 2.1 and 2.5. The interaction model is based on kinetic energy exchanges between two gas-like volumes without other energy losses. A maximum pressure limit for vacuum arc deposition is set for ρg /I=2 to 9×10-6 kg/m3 A

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 6 )