Analytic model of the energy distribution for energetic electrons in HIPIMS

Sara Gallian, Jan Trieschmann, Thomas Mussenbrock, Wil­liam N. G. Hit­chon, Ralf Peter Brinkmann

The 42nd IEEE In­ter­na­tio­nal Con­fe­rence on Plas­ma Sci­ence (ICOPS), Antalya, Turkey, May 24-28 2015, oral cont­ri­bu­ti­on


High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HiPIMS) discharges are characterized by a near-target magnetized region, where the confined electrons ionize a substantial fraction of both the gas and the sputtered neutrals. This type of discharges present an energetic electron population that is accelerated in the cathode fall region and interacts with a uniform plasma bulk where it slows down. The energetic electrons enter the plasma as a mo- noenergetic beam and slow down by Coulomb collisions with a Maxwellian distribution of bulk electrons, and by inelastic col- lisions with neutrals. We present here an analytic calculation of the energetic electrons’ distribution function. The results are verified for parameters appropriate to HiPIMS discharges, by means of numerical calculations.