Semi-empirical modeling and optimization of metal sputtering processes

Çimen, Özge
Continuous miniaturization of thin film based electronic devices is the major motivator for research in physical vapor deposition (PVD) applications especially in military and aerospace applications. The challenges in the good quality thin film is the requirement for good mechanical, optical and electrical properties and high thickness uniformity across wafer. In this study, the magnetron sputtering system was investigated which is a commonly used technique to deposit thin films. Deposition and heat transfer mechanism of this deposition system is the main focus of this thesis in which both modeling and experimental approaches were used. In this study, a modeling approach was used to understand and characterize the operation conditions of the PVD system. A model was implemented to eliminate the geometrical factor to decrease the number of experiments. Using the theoretical knowledge and the findings from the model, experiments were designed for the operational conditions including sputtering power, argon flow and system pressure interactions. Produced thin films were evaluated by means of thickness, deposition rate, resistivity and thickness uniformity. Then, a thermal model was described to estimate the substrate temperature during the sputtering and heating processes. Since plasma interactions create significant complexity in the model, experiments were designed to complete the modeling studies. The heater model includes detailed energy balances for conduction and radiation mechanisms. Thermal model for the sputtering process uses the energy balances for conduction mechanism and heat flux input obtained from the experiments. For the data analysis and design of experiments (DOE) study JMP software and for the modeling studies MATLAB and ANSYS tools were used.


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Citation Formats
Ö. Çimen, “Semi-empirical modeling and optimization of metal sputtering processes,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2015.