State of the art industrial processes requires high performance protective coatings to withstand the increasing thermal and mechanical loads in high-temperature applications. To obtain requirements such as high oxidation and corrosion resistance by simultaneously high hardness and elasticity, a well elaborated design of coatings is necessary. Noreia gives the possibility of a state of the art deposition system which is highly adjustable for a huge variety of deposition parameters and hence to realize a knowledge based coating design.

Schematic representation of the end plate of the Noreia coating system

A key-factor in the design of Noreia was to connect the advantageous of industrial deposition plants and labor scale deposition systems. We realized this through our chamber and cathode mounting design, which is capable for two 6-inch plus two 3-inch cathodes as well as one 6-inch and three 3-inch cathode in a different configuration. Through this design we can use a similar target geometry as used in many industrial deposition plants as well as very high target power densities. The cathodes are powered through 5kW HIPIMS generators to provide High Impact Pulsed Plasmas HIP². Through a load lock we can reach UHV conditions before the deposition and have the possibility of a fully automatic substrate exchange. Substrates can be heated up to 800°C and receive highly energetic ion fluxes due to the HIPIMS signals.

Schematic representation of the HIPIMS principle

High power impulse magnetron sputtering provides following benefits:

High power pulses of short duration

  • Peak value typically 100 times greater than conventional magnetron sputtering
  • Pulse width of 10 ‐ 500 μsec
  • Discharge voltages of 20‐1000 V

High degree of target material ionization

  • High secondary electron current promotes ionization of sputtered species
  • Can approach 100%, vs. ~1% for conventional sputtering

Potential is to use the ions to improve film properties and structure

  • Bias voltage allows to produce dense films and coat irregular shapes

With high ion flux and low bias voltage should be possible to deposit low stress thick films

HiPIMS combines advantageous of DC magnetron sputtering and arc-evaporation without their drawbacks of shadowing effects and macro particles.