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Advantages of Ion Beam Sputter Deposition

Ion Beam Sputter Deposition (IBSD) is a physical vapor deposition method which utilizes a remote broad ion/plasma beam source to bombard a grounded (floating) target and sputter target material onto a substrate.

Like other physical vapor deposition techniques, ion beam sputtering provides advantages such as deposition rate, uniformity, composition, thickness control, adhesion, and material properties. However, ion beam sputtering offers additional sputter deposition features which include a wide range of materials with indifference to target thickness or properties, precision deposition stops, clean and low pressure processing (<0.5mTorr), and reactive deposition not susceptible to high energy arcs due to cathode target poisoning.

In the ion beam deposition process, there is no plasma between the substrate and the target as one would find with magnetron sputtering. This means the ion beam deposition technique can be used to deposit on sensitive materials and reduces the likelihood that the final product will contain gas molecules.

Generally, an ion beam sputtering platform incorporates a multi-target carousel with a high energy, high current primary ion source to generate a well confined ion beam for target sputtering. The reactive deposition configuration will typically include a secondary low energy, high ion current ion/plasma source to provide ion assist process benefits. The substrate stage will tilt and rotate in either single or planetary rotation. The deposition process is well defined and controlled by natural and engineered means. This ability to control makes ion beam sputtering well suited for applications such as precision optics.

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