E!114277 IonDrive Ionautics
|Funding from Vinnova||SEK 3 996 242|
|Project duration||September 2020 - August 2022|
Purpose and goal
The project has developed systems and instrumentation for a new thin film deposition method referred to as bipolar HiPIMS. All three products have been completed: Bipolar HiPIMS plasma generator from Ionautics. Tofwerk completed the manufacturing of the initial prototype of the energy resolving mass spectrometer (EMS). A prototype of an industrial bipolar HiPIMS coating system was completed at Evatec. The project has so far resulted in four published and three submitted scientific publications.
Expected results and effects
Bipolar HiPIMS enables ion generation and acceleration to produce thin films that would otherwise not be possible or be more expensive. Control of ion energies in the material flux to the workpiece has been achieved. Ion selectivity is indeed possible by using very short negative HiPIMS pulses in combination with a timed positive pulse. The driving mechanism is the plasma potential, which has been found to change with pressure, peak current, pulse length and magnetic field configuration.
Planned approach and implementation
Participation in this Eurostars project made it possible to develop novel bipolar pulsed plasma technology for thin film deposition, for which we needed the help of the university partners to identify optimized operating plasma conditions. They also pinpointed suitable fields of applications (when to use and when not to use this technology), which is extremely valuable when promoting our new product.