Bikowski, A.; Welzel, T.; Ellmer, K.: The correlation between the radial distribution of high-energetic ions and the structural as well as electrical properties of magnetron sputtered ZnO:Al films. Journal of Applied Physics 114 (2013), p. 223716/1-10
The origin of the pronounced radial distributions of structural and electrical properties of magnetron sputtered ZnO:Al films has been investigated. The film properties were correlated with the radially resolved ion-distribution functions. While the positive ions exhibit low energies and a radial distribution with a maximum intensity opposite the center of the target, the negative ions can have energies up to several hundred eV, depending on the target potential, with a radial distribution with two maxima opposite the erosion tracks. The most prominent positive ion is that of the working gas (Arþ), while the highest flux of the negative ions is measured for negative oxygen O. The radial distribution of the flux of the high-energetic negative ions can clearly be related to the radial variations of the structural (c-axis lattice parameter, crystallite size) and electronic (resistivity) properties for sputtering from the planar target, which points to the decisive role of the high-energetic negative oxygen ions for the film quality. The relation between the negative ion bombardment and the structural as well as electronic properties can be explained by a qualitative model recently developed by us. The same target has also been investigated in the eroded state. In this case, the limited acceptance angle of the mass spectrometer leads to a misinterpretation of the radial distribution of the flux of the high-energetic negative ions. This effect can be explained by a simulation, based on the assumption that the high-energetic negative ions are mainly accelerated in the cathode (target) sheath perpendicular to the uneven substrate surface.