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The vacuum arc is a well-known technique for producing coatings with enhanced adhesion and film density. Many cathodic arc deposition systems are actually in use in industry and research. They all work under (high) vacuum conditions in which water vapor pressure is an important source of film contamination, especially in the pulsed arc mode of operation. Here we present a cathodic arc system working under ultra-high vacuum conditions (UHVCA). We have used for arc ignition a Nd-YAG pulsed laser focused on the cathode surface, which provides a reliable system and allows eliminating all possible sources of contaminants. We have proven that the arc technique produces bulk-like films suitable for superconducting applications. UHVCA has been used to produce ultra-pure niobium films with excellent structural and electrical properties at a deposition temperature lower than 100 °C. The UHVCA technique …
Publication date: 
20 Dec 2006

R Russo, A Cianchi, YH Akhmadeev, L Catani, J Langner, J Lorkiewicz, R Polini, B Ruggiero, MJ Sadowski, S Tazzari, NN Koval

Biblio References: 
Volume: 201 Issue: 7 Pages: 3987-3992
Surface and Coatings Technology