Advances in Industrial PVD & CVD Deposition Equipment

Friday, May 2, 2014 8:00 AM in Room Tiki

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8:00 AM G6-1 Comparison of Plasma Characteristics of DC and Pulsed Arc Evaporation
Tetsuya Takahashi, Rainer Cremer (KCS Europe GmbH, Germany); Satoshi Hirota (Kobe Steel Ltd., Japan)

Among several types of PVD techniques, cathodic arc deposition, also referred to as arc ion plating, and magnetron sputter deposition are widely used in industry, especially for hard and tribological coating applications. The plasma properties of above technologies are linked to the coating properties and hence better understanding thereof is of great practical importance. It is however often the case that the resulting coating properties are dependent on a coating unit employed rather than basic experimental parameters. This dependency of coating unit appears be more pronounced in industrial equipments compared to small scale laboratory ones. This gives rise to a difficulty in comparing intrinsic plasma and/or coating properties.

Our goal is to correlate the fundamental plasma characteristics of each PVD technique to the coating properties for better process optimization and further development. Different types of PVD methods of pulsed cathodic arc, conventional dc cathodic arc, HIPIMS, and dc magnetron sputtering, respectively, are operated in a single industrial coating unit. The plasma characteristics thereof are studied using optical emission spectroscopy, and compared to each other under process conditions of typical transition metal nitride coatings such as TiAlN and CrN. The spectrum intensity ratio of metal ions to neutrals is used as an indicator of the degree of metal ionization. In cathodic arc deposition OES intensities associated with metal ions are clearly detected while in the case of dc magnetron sputtering metal ions are hardly seen. The degree of metal ionization in HIPIMS is variable. It is found to be increased as the peak power is increased, providing a wide range of plasma properties ranging from less ionized plasma like dc magnetron sputtering up to highly ionized plasma like cathodic arc. In analogy to the principle of HIPIMS, pulsed cathodic arc enables to deliver a higher arc current in a pulse form while the time-averaged arc current on the target is kept comparable to a conventional dc cathodic arc. The influence of pulse parameters on the plasma characteristics is systematically analyzed and compared to those of conventional dc cathodic arc. A correlation of the OES results to the basic properties of coatings deposited is also discussed.

8:20 AM G6-2 Hybrid Coatings in Arc Systems: HI3 Process (HIPAC plus arc), Types of Nitriding Processes and DLC
Jörg Vetter, Juergen Crummenauer, Juergen Mueller, Olivier Jarry (Sulzer Metaplas GmbH, Germany)

Advanced coating devices have to provide at least high productivity and flexibility, should be modular designed and render latest high performance coating solutions. The factors to success are innovative technologies and processes on one platform as well as most advanced coatings; one platform many choices, various opportunities and many solutions. Latest approaches to a new industrial PVD coating system resulted in a symbiosis of form and function to meet all these requirements by implementation of different hyprid processes. Three different hybrid processes will be described.

Arc + HIPAC

A new class of advanced PVD-coaters, the METAPLAS.DOMINO series , for dedicated coating applications comprise both improved vacuum arc evaporators (APA, Advanced Plasma Assisted) and high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS) sources ( HIPAC - High Ionized Plasma Assisted Coating). The ion cleaning is based on the (AEGD, Arc Enhanced Glow Discharge) process. This combination of the three highly ionized processes is named HI3 (High Ionization Triple). It’s possible to run the processes in different modes, e.g. pure APA arc evaporation or pure HIPAC magnetron sputtering. However the combination of the two high ionized deposition processes to generate multilayer, nanomultilayers and nanocomposite layers opens new horizons in tailoring of coating architectures.

Nitriding before coating

Nitriding processes are used to improve the mechanical properties of substrates before the deposition of hard coatings. Three different nitriding methods are possible to carry out in PVD arc systems: traditional glow discharges at gas pressures in the range of several mbar, AEGD nitriding and LPAN (Low Pressure Anodic Nitriding).

DLC coatings

DLC coatings are of special interest for low friction coatings. Solutions to deposit various types of hydrogenated (a-C:H:Me, a-C:H:X) and hydrogen free DLC coatings (a-C, ta-C) in addition to the classical arc coatings are discussed.

Selected coating solutions from latest approaches to hybrid will be presented to underline the leading edge technology.

8:40 AM G6-3 Recent Developments in ALD Equipment and Processes
Mikko Ritala (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Atomic layer deposition is a unique method for highly controlled thin film deposition. ALD is based on saturative surface reactions between alternately dosed gaseous precursors. The film growth is self-limiting, thereby ensuring a number of advantageous characteristics, such as excellent conformality, large area uniformity, accurate and simple thickness and composition control, and reproducibility.

While ALD is currently in use already widely especially in semiconductor industry but also elsewhere, its still wider adoption has been limited by cost issues. In particular the throughput of ALD is modest as coatings are build up in a (sub)monolayer-by-(sub)monolayer manner. Expensive precursor chemicals are also sometimes needed. Another limiting factor has been the lack of proper ALD processes and precursors for many materials of an interest. During the past years substantial progress has been made, however, both in ALD equipment and chemistry. Batch tools are effective in increasing the throughput while spatial-ALD has developed rapidly as an alternative for high throughput ALD, though with limited selection of materials.

This presentation makes a survey of basic features of ALD equipment that are currently commercially available and under development. Also ALD processes will be discussed as the chemistry and precursors are strongly influencing the equipment design.

9:20 AM G6-5 Integration of HiPIMS Equipment into an Industrial Coating Production for Cutting Tools
Toni Leyendecker, Oliver Lemmer, Werner Koelker, Christoph Schiffers (CemeCon AG, Germany)

HiPIMS coatings are rapidly gaining ground for cutting tool applications due to advantages such as smooth, droplet free coatings with superb adhesion and perfect homogeneity all around the tool geometry. Hence, more and more cutting tool producers are in the process of integrating HiPIMS coating machines into their production.

This paper will discuss the full process chain of an industrial coating production – starting with jigging, surface and cutting edge preparing, cleaning, coating and finishing operation – with regard to the specific needs of the HiPIMS process. Advances of the HiPIMS deposition equipment will be presented as well as specific modifications of the auxiliary processes prior and after coating.

A novel AlTiSiN film deposited with HiPIMS will be presented as a model system for all the steps of a commercial coating production including a film characterisation and recent cutting test results.

9:40 AM G6-6 Replacement of Electroplating Produced in a Flexible Inline Production Platform
Pieter Segers, Jeroen Landsbergen, Ivan Kolev, Jeroen Clabbers, Roel Tietema, Thomas Krug (IHI Hauzer Techno Coating BV, Netherlands)

Nowadays plastics are a popular substrate choice for many products, sometimes because of their low weight, for example in the automotive industry, but also because of costs considerations or material characteristics such as lack of corrosion. In many cases, for aesthetic reasons, the plastics are made to look like metals. Chrome plating has long been seen as the only solution for decorative coatings on plastics, to ensure hardness and a bright color. In the meantime several processes have been developed involving lacquer and PVD coatings, sometimes with a lacquer top coat, sometimes without.

But whatever process will be chosen, mass production is a necessity in the production process, ensuring the costs will be kept to a minimum and the coating will be uniform and reproducible. In this presentation we will show the characteristics of a flexible, inline production platform needed for mass production of PVD coatings on decorative products. We will show how the platform can be integrated in a fully automated lacquer plant of different sizes. We will elaborate on the modular design, rack return, linear motion systems and the possibilities to shorten cycle times.

10:00 AM G6-7 Mechanical and Tribological Property of Titanium Series Thick Coating Deposited by our Kobelco new PVD Machine, AIP-G60R
Shin-ichi Tanifuji, Hirofumi Fujii, Homare Nomura (Kobe Steel Ltd., Japan)

Dry coating techniques such as PVD(Physical Vapor Deposition) or CVD(Chemical Vapor Deposition) is widely used in various fields. In industrial applications, in particular, these coating technology are used for applying to the surface of new features and characteristics different from the material properties of the substrate, so it make it possible to allow a high efficiency of production in the field and extend the life of the base material such as cutting tools, it has contributed significantly to the reduction of running cost in the each industrial fields.

AIP(Arc Ion Plating) is known such as a kind of PVD technique, and during the deposition, a vacuum arc discharge is used, then target materials are evaporated and ionized by using the Joule heat of the vacuum arc discharge, and it are deposited on the substrate surface that is applied to the negative bias. Coating film formed by AIP technique is high dense and high hardness, so it is widely used as a mass production technology of hard wear resistant coating around the cutting tool field in the 1990s.

Recently, needs of high-value-added and high-performance of the product is increasing, AIP technology is expanding automotive field, also aircraft field as well as the cutting tool field. On the other hand, new coating equipment, arc evaporation sources, or coating process have been developed to address the needs that have been advanced and diversified, resulting in the spread of technology has been accelerating.

So far, KOBELCO has commercialized batch coating equipment with AIP technology in 1986, and coating equipment, coating process and hard wear resistant coating for several industrial application also have been developing.

In this report, KOBELCO new PVD equipment “G60R” is going to be introduced, then mechanical and tribological properties of metal nitride coating deposited by G60R with new AIP cathode are going to be reported.