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Home Aerospace & Aeronautics Filtered Vacuum-Arc Plasma Source For High Quality Coatings

Filtered Vacuum-Arc Plasma Source For High Quality Coatings


Developed a cathodic vacuum arc plasma source with a magnetic filter that turns the plasma stream 90°. T-shaped plasma duct with a system of intercepting screens and fins provides a significantlly higher degree of absorption of macroparticles when compared to conventional "torroidal" filters (more than an order of magnitude). A small ratio of curvature radius of the plasma duct to its inner radius, a large diameter of the plasma guiding channel (200 mm), and an optimal geometry of transporting magnetic fields ensure a high throughput of the filter - up to 55 %. Filtered plasma source proposed may be used in new vacuum-arc industrial setups for the ion plasma processing of mate-rials including deposition of high quality coatings.

Innovative Aspect and Main Advantages

Efficiency of the main versions of known systems and our results

  • Type of filters ------ Efficiency I/Id x l00,%
  • Knee shaped (Falabela) ------ 3.0
  • Toroidal (45) [Martin] ------ 2.5
  • Rectangul [Gorokhoversky] ------ 2.5
  • Dome type [Sanders] ------ 2.5
  • Wide aperture (our result) ------ about 5

The ratio of the total ion flow at the channel exit to the discharge current (Ii/Ij) - the system efficiency coefficient -is commonly assumed to be the criterion of plasma passage efficiency through the system as a whole (generator + filter).

Areas of Application

Filtered vacuum-arc plasma source described can be used for the following coating deposition: DLC, metals (Ті, Cr, Nb, Mo, Cu, Al, etc.), alloys, nitrides, oxides, carbides, composites, multilayers. Such coatings can be used as:

  • wear-resistant coatings at surfaces of fine mechanic elements (hydrodynamic and electrostatic supports of gyroscopes and centrifuges, pistons of fuel pumps, etc.);
  • decorative coatings;
  • hard protective coatings on magnetic and optic devices;
  • transparent conducting oxide films in solar sells;
  • low-e films on architectonic glass;
  • protective biologically indifferent coatings;
  • "back-end" metal layers in ultra large scale integrated circuits.

Above mentioned filtered plasma source may be used:

  • in new vacuum-arc industrial equipment for the ion plasma processing of materials including deposition of high quality micro- and nanostructural coatings;
  • when upgrading of existent vacuum-arc equipment for widening their technological potentiality;
  • for high quality coatings deposition processes in machine building, fine mechanics, microelectronics, optics, automobile industries, etc.

Fig. 1 T-shaped filtered vacuum-arc plasma
source for diamondlike coating (DLC) deposition.
Coating deposition rate is 6 μm/h at the diameter 20 cm

Fig. 2 Elements of the gas dynamic bearing with DLC coatings
(convex hemispheres) and with TiN coatings (concave hemispheres)

Stage of Development

Prototype available for testing; patented in USA.

Contact Details

National Science Centre "Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology"
Akademicheskaya, 1, Kharkov 61108, Ukraine
Volodymyr Strelnytskiy
Tel/fax: + 38-057-3356561
E-mail: strelnitskij@kipt.kharkovua


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