Ion-beam sputtering system
Ion-beam sputtering (IBS) is a method in which the target is external to the ion source. A source can work without any magnetic field like in a hot filament ionization gauge. In a Kaufman source ions are generated by collisions with electrons that are confined by a magnetic field as in a magnetron. They are then accelerated by the electric field emanating from a grid toward a target. As the ions leave the source they are neutralized by electrons from a second external filament. IBS has an advantage in that the energy and flux of ions can be controlled independently. Since the flux that strikes the target is composed of neutral atoms, either insulating or conducting targets can be sputtered. IBS has found application in the manufacture of thin-film heads for disk drives. A pressure gradient between the ion source and the sample chamber is generated by placing the gas inlet at the source and shooting through a tube into the sample chamber. This saves gas and reduces contamination in UHV applications. The principal drawback of IBS is the large amount of maintenance required to keep the ion source operating.
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