Elimination of arcing in reactive sputtering of Al2O3 thin films prepared by DC pulse single magnetron

Michal Meissner, Tomas Tolg, Pavel Baroch, Jindrich Musil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The article reports on the elimination of arcing in the DC pulse reactive sputtering of Al2O3 thin films using a single unbalanced magnetron operating at relatively high target power density Wta ranging from ∼10 to ∼50 W/cm2; Wta is the target power density averaged over the pulse length. Correlations between pulse length Ï, pulse-off time toff, repetition frequency fr and arcing at the target surface were investigated in detail. Undesirable damage of sputtered alumina film due to arcing is demonstrated. It is shown that the length of pulse-off time toff is of key importance for elimination of arcing in pulse reactive sputtering of electrically insulating compounds using a single magnetron. Reactive magnetron sputtering is a very useful technique for preparation of Al2O3 films. However, to produce a good quality film the arcing at the target surface must be eliminated. Our investigation shows that transient phenomena connected with the pulse switch-off are important in the elimination of arcing. It is shown that Al 2O3 films with smooth surface can be reactively sputtered also at low frequency, high duty cycle and relatively high target power density.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-504
Number of pages5
JournalPlasma Processes and Polymers
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2011


  • alumina thin films
  • arcing elimination
  • DC pulse reactive sputtering
  • single magnetron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Polymers and Plastics

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