Quantum Technology - Application Note QC02

Quantum Technology

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Learn how metal deposition rates, ionization fraction and energy distribution of ions arriving at a substrate are measured in an asymmetric, bipolar, pulsed DC magnetron sputtering reactor.


Thin films of various materials are deposited on semiconductor wafers for a variety of applications in integrated circuit manufacturing. The rate of deposition is controlled by neutral and ionic species arriving at the substrate surface. In sputtering processes, the ionization fraction, defined as ratio of ion to total (total = ion + neutral) deposition rates, is mainly determined by the applied cathode power, chamber pressure and the target material (since the ionization potential is material dependent). Thin film quality and deposition rates are strongly dependent on the fraction of ionization and therefore measurement of ionized flux fraction at the substrate is becoming crucial for process development and control. A compact retarding field energy analyzer with embedded quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), known as the Quantum system, has been developed to measure deposition rate, ionization fraction and ion energy distribution arriving at a substrate location.