Reactive magnetron sputtering of thin films: Present status and trends

J. Musil, P. Baroch, J. Vlček, K. H. Nam, J. G. Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

279 Citations (Scopus)


This paper gives a critical review of the present state of the knowledge in the field of dc reactive magnetron sputtering of compound films. It analyses (i) the hysteresis effect and the methods of its elimination, (ii) problem of stability of reactive sputtering and (iii) deposition of transparent oxides in the transition mode of sputtering. It shows the conditions under which oxides are reactively sputtered with high deposition rates aD oxide achieving up to approximately 77% of that of a pure metal aD Me, i.e. aD oxide/aD Me≈0.77. A special attention is devoted to the elimination of arcing in sputtering of insulating films using pulsed dual magnetron or sputtering of oxides from a substoichiometric target. Also, the ion bombardment of films growing on insulatings or unbiased substrates in dc pulsed magnetron sputtering is discussed in detail. As an example, a new possibility to form superhard single-phase films based on solid solutions using dc reactive magnetron sputtering is shown. At the end, future trends in dc reactive magnetron sputtering are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-218
Number of pages11
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number1-2 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2005


  • Compounds
  • DC continuous and pulsed reactive magnetron sputtering
  • Deposition rate
  • Film properties
  • Nanocomposites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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