The influence of operating parameters on pulsed D.C. magnetron sputtering plasma

Sreejith Karthikeyan, Arthur E. Hill, John S. Cowpe, Richard D. Pilkington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This paper describes the breakdown voltage characteristics in a pulsed D.C. magnetron sputtering system under varying conditions of frequency, current and pulse-off time. The behaviour of the breakdown voltage with pulsing frequency at different pressures and constant pulse-off time was recorded and revealed that the breakdown voltage decreased consistently as the frequency increased up to 70 kHz. Above this frequency, perturbation in the breakdown voltage was noted, possibly due to the rise in pre-breakdown current during the few microseconds of pulse-on time. This perturbation effect was no longer observed when the operating current was increased. The breakdown voltage was seen to decrease when the pulse-off time was increased while keeping the total period of the pulse constant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)634-638
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 9 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the Joule Centre for the funding of this project. Sincere thanks are due to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) for the award of a research fellowship to Sreejith Karthikeyan under the ORSAS programme.


  • Argon metastable atoms
  • Asymmetric bipolar pulsed magnetron sputtering
  • Breakdown voltage with pulsing frequency
  • Ion - induced electron emission
  • PDMS
  • Plasma-surface interaction
  • Pulsed D.C. magnetron sputtering


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