Thin Film Deposition by Plasma Beam of a Vacuum Arc with Refractory Anodes

  • I. I. BeilisEmail author
  • R. L. Boxman
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book series (LNME)


Thin film deposition using hot anode vacuum arcs developed in the last decade is described. Two configurations were used: (i) with an open gap—the hot refractory anode vacuum arc (HRAVA) and (ii) with a closed gap—the vacuum arc with black body assembly (VABBA). In both configurations, the anode was heated by the arc with current I = 145–340 A, and a relatively dense plasma plume of cathode material (Cu, Ti, Cr, Al, Sn, Mo, Nb), was formed by re-evaporation of cathode material from the hot (2000–2500 K) anode, which was fabricated from graphite, Mo, Ta, or W. A steady state mode was reached when the anode was sufficiently hot and a plasma plume expanded, either radially (HRAVA) or directly from the front hot anode surface. As an example, the deposition rate measured in 300 A HRAVAs at distances of 80 mm from the arc axis, to be 3.6; 1.4 and 1.8 μm/min for Cu, Cr and Ti cathodes respectively. Interconnector trenches (100 nm wide ×300 nm deep) on microelectronic wafers were filled using a Cu HRAVA at a rate of 0.5 µm/min.


Thin film Vacuum arc Refractory anode Interconnector trenches Deposition rate 



The authors gratefully acknowledge S. Goldsmith, H. Rosenthal, M. Keidar, A. Shashurin, Y. Koulik, D. Arbilly, A. Nemirovsky, A. Shnaiderman and D. Grach for their contributions at different stages of the investigations.


  1. 1.
    Hopwood JA (2000) Ionized physical vapor deposition, vol 27. Academic Press, San Diego, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Makhlouf ASH (2011) Current and advanced coating technologies for industrial applications. In: Nanocoatings and ultra-thin films. Woodhead publishing series in metals and surface engineering, pp 3–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Clavero C, Slack JL, Anders A (2013) Size and composition-controlled fabrication of thermochromic metal oxide nanocrystals. J Phys D Appl Phys 46(36):362001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Pogrebnjak A, Ivashchenko V, Bondar O (2017) Multilayered vacuum-arc nanocomposite TiN/ZrN coatings before and after annealing: structure, properties, first-principles calculations. Mater Charact 134:55–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sanders DM, Anders A (2000) Review of cathodic arc deposition technology at the start of the new millennium. Surf Coat Technol 133–134:78–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Anders A (2012) The evolution of ion charge states in cathodic vacuum arc plasmas: a review. Plasma Sources Sci Technol 21(3):035014CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Witke T, Siemroth P (2009) Deposition of droplet-free films by vacuum arc evaporation—results and applications. IEEE Trans Plasma Sci 27(4):1039–1044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Zöhrer S, Anders A, Franz R (2018) Time-resolved ion energy and charge state distributions in pulsed cathodic arc plasmas of Nb–Al cathodes in high vacuum. Plasma Sources Sci Technol 27(5):055007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pogrebnjak AD, Beresnev VM (2012) Hard nanocomposite coatings, their structure and properties. In: Nanocomposites—new trends and developments, InTech.
  10. 10.
    Boxman RL, Martin P, Sanders D (eds) (1995) Handbook of vacuum arc science and technology. Noyes Publishing, Ridge Park, NJGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Beilis II, Boxman RL (2009) Metallic film deposition using a vacuum arc plasma source with a refractory anode. Surf Coat Technol 204(6–7):865–871CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Beilis II, Koulik Y, Boxman RL (2011) Evolution of a plasma plume from a shower anode in a vacuum arc with a black-body electrode configuration. IEEE Trans Plasma Sci 39(11):2838–2839CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Reece MP (1963) The vacuum switch. Proc IEEE Inst Electr Electron Eng 110:793–811CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Beilis II (1977) Cathode spots on metallic electrode of a vacuum arc. High Temp 15:818–824Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Daalder JE (1078) A cathode spot model and its energy balance for metal vapor arcs. J Phys D Appl Phys 11(12):1667–1682CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Beilis II (2001) State of the theory of vacuum arcs. IEEE Trans Plasma Sci 29(5):657–670 (Part I)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Rosenthall H, Beilis II, Goldsmith S et al (1995) Heat fluxes during the development of hot anode vacuum arc. J Phys D Appl Phys 28(2):353–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Beilis II, Koulik Y, Boxman RL (2013) Effective cathode voltage in a vacuum arc with a black body electrode configuration. IEEE Trans Plasma Sci 41(8):1992–1995 (Part II)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Beilis II, Shashurin A, Boxman RL et al (2006) Total ion current fraction in a hot refractory anode vacuum arc. Appl Phys Lett 88:071501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Beilis D II, Grach Shashurin A et al (2008) Filling trenches on a SiO2 substrate with Cu using a hot refractory anode vacuum arc. Microelectron Eng 85:1713–1716CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Beilis II, Koulik Y, Boxman RL (2014) Cu film deposition using a vacuum arc with a black-body electrode assembly. Surf Coat Technol 258:908–912CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

Personalised recommendations