Conditions Extrêmes et Matériaux : Haute Température et Irradiation

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Sara Ibrahim, Asunción Fernández, Pascal Brault, Audrey Sauldubois, Pierre Desgardin, Amael Caillard, Dirk Hufschmidt, Maria-Carmen Jiménez de Haro, Thierry Sauvage, Marie-France Barthe, Anne-Lise Thomann, 'DC magnetron sputter deposition in pure helium gas: formation of porous films or gas/solid nanocomposite coatings', Vacuum 224 113184 (2024) doi:10.1016/j.vacuum.2024.113184

Magnetron sputtering of two materials (Aluminum and Silicon) was performed in He gas and led to the formation of very different porous thin films: a fiberform nanostructure or a gas/solid nanocomposite. The composition of the thin films obtained was analyzed by means of ion beam techniques: Rutherford backscattering and proton elastic backscattering spectroscopies to measure the amount of Al(Si) deposited atoms and that of He atoms inserted inside the films. Microstructural and crystalline properties were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. Transmission electron microscopy coupled with electron energy loss spectroscopy were used to investigate the presence of empty or He filled pores or even bubbles. Correlating the Al(Si) film properties with the deposition conditions evaluated by SRIM (sputtering process at the target) and by a homemade collision code (species transport to the substrate) gave a better insight into the reason for the formation of such different films. The role of both He ions backscattered at the target and surface mobility during the growth is discussed. Comparison with low kinetic energy He + implantation experiments indicates that similar mechanisms, such as He insertion, diffusion inside the lattice, release or accumulation into pores and bubbles, are certainly taking place.