The Deposition of Thin Films and Nanostructures research group has a new instrument that extends the current diagnostic capabilities. It is the RFEA (Retarding Field Energy Analyser) from the company Impedans Plasma Measurement situated in Ireland.
The instrument is used for the plasma diagnostics of the deposition process by time-justify measurement of the incident ionic flux. Similar to mass spectroscopy, it obtains the energy distribution and the total ion flux with high accuracy. However, it can not distinguish between the particle species. By supplementing other devices, such as a biased QCM or a Langmuir probe, scientists can now perform comprehensive diagnostics of ions impinging the growing thin films. The properties of these ions are the key to producing high-quality thin films using magnetron sputtering.
As Dr. Peter Klein from the research group adds: "This new device brings new possibilities in plasma diagnostics. Its compactness and ease of use make it suitable for all types of deposition devices and thin film deposition methods currently investigated, including HiPIMS."