Effect of electrode separation in magnetron DC plasma sputtering on grain size of gold coated samples

Abstract

In this work, an experimental research on a low voltage DC magnetron plasma sputtering (0-650) volt is used for coating gold on a glass substrate at a constant pressure of argon gas 0.2 mbar and deposition time of 30 seconds. We focused on the effects of operating conditions for the system such as, electrode separation and sputtering current on coated samples under the influence of magnetic flux. Electron temperature and electrons and ions densities are determined by a cylindrical single Langmuir probe. The results show the sensitivity of electrode separation lead to change the plasma parameters. Furthermore, the surface morphology of gold coated samples at different electrode separation and sputtering current were studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The AFM analysis showed that the variation of average grain diameter and average grain height is nonlinear with a minimum value of average grain diameter 90 nm at electrode separation of 4 cm and 30 mA sputtering current.