Industrialization of HIPIMS and Trends in Implementation
Date & Time
Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

After 20 years of continuous development by several research groups and companies it is now clear that real industrial breakthroughs for the high-power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) technology are happening. HiPIMS is a state-of-the-art tool for applying high demanding metal and ceramic coatings with superior properties for applications such as: metal fabrication process (machining, stamping, molding or other tools), functional decorative (shinny gold finish in iPhone 12 Pro), trench filling in semiconductor industry, or tribological (H-free DLC coatings with reduced friction, high hardness and enhanced thermal stability). Despite the great perspective and the positive forecasts for HiPIMS-technology since its’ discovery in 1999, it has taken more than 15 years for the real industrial breakthrough to start. For example, the deposition rate of HiPIMS is still considered to be rather low compared with conventional magnetron sputtering and even more so when compared to cathodic arc-deposition. Another issue is the complexity of use due to the large number of adjustable process parameters. It is not only the HiPIMS power supply, which itself has more controllable parameters than any traditional power supply, what contributes to this great deposition technology. It is also the process regulation (monitoring), the magnetron system (magnetic configurations), the gas flow, the pumping speed, etc. Apart from the traditional use of HiPIMS which is being currently implemented by the industry, it has been recently demonstrated that the application of a positive voltage reversal pulse adjacent to the negative sputtering pulse gives rise to the generation of high fluxes of energetic ions. This solution allows unprecedented benefits for the coating industry, such as the energetic deposition onto insulating or grounded substrates, improved coverage on 3D parts or components, or even substrate etching. The key factor is the ability to tailor both the energy and flux of the high fraction of ionized material present in a HiPIMS discharge by controlling the amplitude and duration of both the positive and negative pulses. A description of this technology as well as the experimental results obtained in different coating systems from a wide variety of industrial applications will be presented in this talk.

Ivan Fernandez - Nano4Energy
Ralf Bandorf /Frank Zimone