The C-TVA plasma source – a chemical vacuum thin film deposition tool

C.C. Surdu-Bob, M. Badulescu
INFLPR, RO

Keywords: oxinitride films, TVA, anodic arc, deposition, coating

Summary:

It is presented here for the first time the deposition of oxides, nitrides and oxinitride thin films by a new plasma source based on Thermionic Vacuum Arc plasma (TVA), called Compact-TVA (C-TVA). The source uses gas and metal precursors in a set-up which allows continuous and unlimited deposition, with no target poisoning, in contrast to magnetron sputtering [1]. The plasma is localized. The first work on TVA is documented in a paper in 1966 [2]. Later studies within the same laboratory were concerned with both TVA plasma diagnostics and characterization of deposited films [3-8]. An important upgrade of this plasma source is GasTVA which uses gas/liquid precursors [9]. The source presented in the current paper is even more versatile, in that gas and metal precursors are used simultaneously in a compact embodiment. A series of oxides, nitrides and oxinitrides were successfully deposited by C-TVA (see figures). Such films can be used in electronics, chemical corrosion resistance, medicine (biocompatibility), decoration etc. Multilayer nanostructuring of metal/ceramic films ca be obtained. The C-TVA plasma can also be of interest in depollution. These attributes make C-TVA a very powerful plasma source in terms of quality and versatility of deposited films and deposition parameters.