Thin film deposition using hot anode vacuum arcs developed in the last decade is described. Two configurations were used: (i) with an open gap—the hot refractory anode vacuum arc (HRAVA) and (ii) with a closed gap—the vacuum arc with black body assembly (VABBA). In both configurations, the anode was heated by the arc with current I = 145–340 A, and a relatively dense plasma plume of cathode material (Cu, Ti, Cr, Al, Sn, Mo, Nb), was formed by re-evaporation of cathode material from the hot (2000–2500 K) anode, which was fabricated from graphite, Mo, Ta, or W. A steady state mode was reached when the anode was sufficiently hot and a plasma plume expanded, either radially (HRAVA) or directly from the front hot anode surface. As an example, the deposition rate measured in 300 A HRAVAs at distances of 80 mm from the arc axis, to be 3.6; 1.4 and 1.8 μm/min for Cu, Cr and Ti cathodes respectively. Interconnector trenches (100 nm wide ×300 nm deep) on microelectronic wafers were filled using a Cu HRAVA at a rate of 0.5 µm/min.
Thin film Vacuum arc Refractory anode Interconnector trenches Deposition rate
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The authors gratefully acknowledge S. Goldsmith, H. Rosenthal, M. Keidar, A. Shashurin, Y. Koulik, D. Arbilly, A. Nemirovsky, A. Shnaiderman and D. Grach for their contributions at different stages of the investigations.
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