Indexed on: 10 Nov '09Published on: 10 Nov '09Published in: The Review of scientific instruments
In rf magnetron sputtering, a circular erosion pattern forms on the surface of a circular metal conductor target with permanent magnets on its back. In this case, the theory behind the erosion pattern has been established. However, in the case of a dielectric target, a double circular erosion pattern is formed. So far, this pattern has been phenomenologically recognized by experimenters; however, it has not yet been investigated. In this study, we performed a magnetron sputtering experiment with a SiO2 dielectric target, and confirmed the formation of a double circular erosion pattern. The dimensions of the double circular erosion pattern varied depending on the insulation resistance or the thickness of the SiO2 target. Furthermore, we found that the dimensions of a double circular erosion pattern changed by making a gap between the SiO2 target and guard ring. Based on the experimental results, we have proposed a qualitative model to explain the formation mechanism of double circular erosion patterns.