• 52.40.Kh;
  • 52.77.Dq;
  • 81.15.Cd


The emerging technology of High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HIPIMS) has much in common with the more established technology of Plasma-Based Ion Implantation & Deposition (PBIID): both use pulsed plasmas, the pulsed sheath periodically evolves and collapses, the plasma-sheath system interacts with the pulse-driving power supply, the plasma parameters are affected by the power dissipated, surface atoms are sputtered and secondary electrons are emitted, etc. Therefore, both fields of science and technology could learn from each other, which has not been fully explored. On the other hand, there are significant differences, too. Most importantly, the operation of HIPIMS heavily relies on the presence of a strong magnetic field, confining electrons and causing their E × B drift, which is closed for typical magnetron configurations. Second, at the high peak power levels used for HIPIMS, 1 kW/cm2 or greater averaged over the target area, the sputtered material greatly affects plasma generation. For PBIID, in contrast, plasma generation and ion processing of the surface (ion implantation, etching, and deposition) are considered relatively independent processes. Third, secondary electron emission is generally considered a nuisance for PBIID, especially at high voltages, whereas it is a critical ingredient to the operation of HIPIMS. Fourth, the voltages in PBIID are often higher than in HIPIMS. For the first three reasons listed above, modelling of PBIID seems to be easier and could give some guidance for future HIPIMS models, which, clearly, will be more involved. (© 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)