Sputter Deposition

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  Sputter plasma during a deposition I. Physikalisches Institut Plasma during sputtering on a titanium target

Sputter deposition or sputtering in short is a modern thin-film-technology belonging to the physical vapor deposition techniques, with which miscellaneous inorganic materials with thicknesses ranging from several nanometers up to some micrometers can be deposited. Due to the versatility of this technique and the possibility to apply it on a large scale at low costs, it is widely used in research and industry. Different sputter variations are used in application fields like high-end multilayer‑systems for thermal insulation, hard coatings and self‑cleaning windows, transparent electrodes for photovoltaics and display industry, or functional films in microelectronics.

Although “sputtering” is a well-established technique since many years, the complex interactions between all particles involved and several precisely adjustable deposition parameters like pressure, temperature, generator power or amount of reactive gases and their combined effect on the structural, optical or electrical layer properties is a very active and fascinating research field. Also the theoretical models to describe and explain the processes are by far not complete, therefore also examine the sputtering process itself is a very vivid scientific research area.

  A TCO (ZnO:Al) sputtered at different O2 partial pressures with the transition from  oxidic transparent to metallic black I. Physikalisches Institut A TCO (ZnO:Al) sputtered at different oxygen partial pressures with the transition from oxidic transparent to metallic black

Current research topics are i.a.:

  • Multilayer systems including thin silver films for heat insulation glasses
  • Investigation of several transparent, conductive oxides (TCOs) to advance the understanding of differences and similarities in this remarkable material class
  • Influence of dopants and seed layers onto the crystallization behavior of TiO2‑thin films for scratch proof, high refraction and annealing stable coatings
  • Characteristics and dependencies of miscellaneous dopants regarding the high-k material TiO2 among others as dielectric in supercapacitors for high efficiency energy storage

In case we have caught your interest to work as a member in our group and gain practical experience, please have a look at our available theses.