DOI: 10.3390/plasma7010001 ISSN: 2571-6182

A Semi-Empirical Model of Cathodic Arc Spot Motion under the Influence of External Magnetic Fields

Achim Mahrle, Otmar Zimmer, Steffen Schenk, Madlen Borkmann, Christoph Leyens
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Engineering
  • General Environmental Science

Plasma generation by cathodic arc spots plays a crucial role for coating processes that make use of the Arc-PVD technology. Usually, the arc spot motion over the cathode is steered by a magnetic field of a particular distribution and magnitude to ensure a continuous plasma generation, the avoidance of liquid droplets, and a proper utilization of cathode material by homogeneous erosion. This study presents a semi-empirical model that allows for an examination and characterization of the arc spot motion with regard to direction and speed as a function of an imposed magnetic field. This model considers the different components of random walk, retrograde, and Robson drift motion. Introduced empirical coefficients were determined by corresponding experimental investigations. The calibrated model describes the arc spot motion in good agreement to the recorded spot tracks and can therefore be applied for an evaluation of different magnetic field configurations.

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