Comprehensive Simulation of Sputter Deposition

  • Author / Creator
    Jimenez, Francisco Javier
  • The magnetron sputtering process is extensively used in industry to deposit thin films of a large number of materials for countless applications. However, to utilize the full potential offered by this process, it is essential to have a sound understanding of the complex dynamics occurring during a typical film deposition process. Computer simulations are a powerful, cost-effective tool to increase the understanding of the process which is otherwise difficult to obtain through theoretical models and experiments. This thesis presents the integration and implementation of a comprehensive 3D computational framework for the simulation of magnetron sputtering discharges in arbitrary reactor geometries. The modular architecture of the proposed model allows the user to either concentrate on individual components of the deposition or to investigate the process as a whole. Every module within the framework is an independent, highly specialized unit, capable of simulating a specific component of the process. As key to the correct description of the process, a model to numerically solve for the magnetized plasma is presented in this dissertation. The proposed numerical model uses a robust algorithm which is able to handle inhomogeneous magnetic fields and a wide range of process conditions using a global strategy. The interaction of the sputtered particles with the background gas, and the events at the target, are incorporated into the discharge model using an iterative scheme whereby modules comprising the computational framework are sequentially solved until convergence is attained. The resulting model is employed to study a variety of process parameters and effects such as gas rarefaction, plasma density and energy flux. Results, both from individual components and from the full iterative model, are compared against experiments to assess the validity of the model.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Specialization
    • Microsystems and Nanodevices
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dr. Steven K. Dew (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Sit, Jeremy (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
    • Brett, Michael (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
    • Burrell, Robert (Biomedical Engineering)
    • DeCorby, Ray (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
    • Depla, Diederik (Solid State Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium)