Physics of Arcing, and Implications to Sputter Deposition

Publication Type

Journal Article


LBNL Report Number



Arcing on sputter targets and negatively biased substrates is known as one of the most challenging issues in physical vapor deposition of thin films and coatings. This is particularly true when high-rate deposition with reactive gases, large area deposition, and high power pulsed sputtering are considered. Much progress has been made in the development of power supplies that can handle arcing events with minimal damage to target and substrate. However, relatively little is known about the processes leading to arcs and the physics of the arcing events themselves. In this contribution, the issue of arcing is approached from the point of view of arc physics. Current knowledge of arcing and arc suppression is reviewed.

(Note: PDF contains both LBNL-54220 & LBNL-54220 Journal.)


Thin Solid Films

Year of Publication


Call Number

LBNL-54220 Journal