LBNL Report Number
The condensation of energetic metal ions on a surface may cause self-sputtering even in the absence of substrate bias. Charge-state-averaged self-sputtering yields were determined for both zirconium and gold ions generated by a cathodic vacuum arc. Films were deposited on differently biased substrates exposed to streaming Zr and Au vacuum arc plasma. The self-sputtering yields for both metals were estimated to be about 0.05 in the absence of bias, and exceeding 0.5 when bias reached - 50 V. These surprisingly high values can be reconciled with binary collision theory and molecular dynamics calculations taking high the kinetic and potential energy of vacuum arc ions into account.