Skip to main content

Cathodic Arc Technology

  • Reference work entry
  • 300 Accesses


Arc-PVD; Cathodic arc deposition; Cathodic arc evaporation; Vacuum arc deposition


Cathodic arc technology is a physical vapor deposition (PVD) technology that makes use of a supersonic stream of fully ionized plasma originating from nonstationary cathode spots. Depending on the cathode material and the presence of process gas, metal, ceramic, or diamond-like carbon films are obtained.

Scientific Fundamentals

Cathodic Arc Plasma Production

Arc discharges are characterized by relatively high current and low voltage between anode and cathode, the electrodes at positive and negative potential, respectively. Typical examples of such high current and low voltage are 100 A and 20 V. Generally, two types of arc discharges can be distinguished: the thermionic arc and the cathodic arc. The key difference is the physical mechanism of electron emission, and indeed, the electron emission mechanism can be used to more precisely distinguish the arc from other forms of discharges,...

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-92897-5_1059
  • Chapter length: 8 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
USD   1,999.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-0-387-92897-5
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD   4,499.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Cathodic Arc Technology, Fig. 1
Cathodic Arc Technology, Fig. 2
Cathodic Arc Technology, Fig. 3
Cathodic Arc Technology, Fig. 4
Cathodic Arc Technology, Fig. 5
Cathodic Arc Technology, Fig. 6


  • I.I. Aksenov et al., Instrum. Exp. Tech. 21, 1416 (1978)

    Google Scholar 

  • A. Anders, Cathodic Arcs: From Fractal Spots to Energetic Condensation (Springer, New York, 2008)

    Google Scholar 

  • R.L. Boxman et al. (eds.), Handbook of Vacuum Arc Science and Technology (Noyes, Park Ridge, 1995)

    Google Scholar 

  • B.F. Coll et al., Mater. Sci. Eng. A 140, 816 (1991)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • J.S. Colligon, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 13, 1649 (1995)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • B. Jüttner, I. Kleberg, J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 33, 2025 (2000)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • P.H. Mayrhofer et al., Prog. Mater. Sci. 51, 1032 (2006)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • D.R. McKenzie, M.M.M. Bilek, Thin Solid Films 382, 280 (2001)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • G.A. Mesyats, Cathode Phenomena in a Vacuum Discharge: The Breakdown, the Spark, and the Arc (Nauka, Moscow, 2000)

    Google Scholar 

  • O.R. Monteiro, Annu. Rev. Mater. Sci. 31, 111 (2001)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • J. Priestley, Experiments in which rings, consisting of all the prismatic colours, where made by electrical explosions on the surface of metals, in The History and Present State of Electricity, vol. II, (London, 1775), p. 329

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to André Anders .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York

About this entry

Cite this entry

Anders, A. (2013). Cathodic Arc Technology. In: Wang, Q.J., Chung, YW. (eds) Encyclopedia of Tribology. Springer, Boston, MA.

Download citation