Abstract

A previously described automated thin-film deposition system based on rf-magnetron sputtering could deposit quite complex optical multilayer systems with good precision and with no one in attendance [Sullivan and Dobrowolski, Appl. Opt. 32, 2351–2360 (1993)]. However, the deposition rate was slow, and the uniform area on the substrate was limited. We describe an ac-magnetron sputtering process in which the same deposition accuracy has been combined with significantly better film uniformity and a fivefold or sevenfold increase in the deposition rate. This makes the equipment of commercial interest. Experimental results are presented for several difficult coating problems.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. J. A. Dobrowolski, “Modern computational methods for optical thin film systems,” Thin Solid Films 34, 313–321 (1976).
    [CrossRef]
  2. B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, “Deposition error compensation for optical multilayer coatings. II. Experimental results—sputtering system,” Appl. Opt. 32, 2351–2360 (1993).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, “Implementation of a numerical needle method for thin-film design,” Appl. Opt. 35, 5484–5492 (1996).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. J. A. Dobrowolski, J. R. Pekelsky, R. Pelletier, M. Ranger, B. T. Sullivan, A. J. Waldorf, “A practical magnetron sputtering system for the deposition of optical multilayer coatings,” Appl. Opt. 31, 3784–3789 (1992).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. B. T. Sullivan, K. L. Byrt, “Metal/dielectric transmission interference filters with low reflectance. II. Experimental results,” Appl. Opt. 34, 5684–5694 (1995).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, “Integrated design and manufacture of thin film multilayer filters using an automated deposition system,” Phys. Can. 52, 213–215 (1996).
  7. B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, G. Clarke, T. Akiyama, N. Osborne, M. Ranger, L. Howe, A. Matsumoto, Y. Song, K. Kikuchi, “Manufacture of complex multilayer filters using an automated deposition system,” Vacuum 51, 647–654 (1998).
    [CrossRef]
  8. W. P. Thoeni, “Deposition of optical coatings: process control and automation,” Thin Solid Films 88, 385–397 (1982).
    [CrossRef]

1998 (1)

B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, G. Clarke, T. Akiyama, N. Osborne, M. Ranger, L. Howe, A. Matsumoto, Y. Song, K. Kikuchi, “Manufacture of complex multilayer filters using an automated deposition system,” Vacuum 51, 647–654 (1998).
[CrossRef]

1996 (2)

B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, “Integrated design and manufacture of thin film multilayer filters using an automated deposition system,” Phys. Can. 52, 213–215 (1996).

B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, “Implementation of a numerical needle method for thin-film design,” Appl. Opt. 35, 5484–5492 (1996).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1995 (1)

1993 (1)

1992 (1)

1982 (1)

W. P. Thoeni, “Deposition of optical coatings: process control and automation,” Thin Solid Films 88, 385–397 (1982).
[CrossRef]

1976 (1)

J. A. Dobrowolski, “Modern computational methods for optical thin film systems,” Thin Solid Films 34, 313–321 (1976).
[CrossRef]

Akiyama, T.

B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, G. Clarke, T. Akiyama, N. Osborne, M. Ranger, L. Howe, A. Matsumoto, Y. Song, K. Kikuchi, “Manufacture of complex multilayer filters using an automated deposition system,” Vacuum 51, 647–654 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Byrt, K. L.

Clarke, G.

B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, G. Clarke, T. Akiyama, N. Osborne, M. Ranger, L. Howe, A. Matsumoto, Y. Song, K. Kikuchi, “Manufacture of complex multilayer filters using an automated deposition system,” Vacuum 51, 647–654 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Dobrowolski, J. A.

B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, G. Clarke, T. Akiyama, N. Osborne, M. Ranger, L. Howe, A. Matsumoto, Y. Song, K. Kikuchi, “Manufacture of complex multilayer filters using an automated deposition system,” Vacuum 51, 647–654 (1998).
[CrossRef]

B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, “Integrated design and manufacture of thin film multilayer filters using an automated deposition system,” Phys. Can. 52, 213–215 (1996).

B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, “Implementation of a numerical needle method for thin-film design,” Appl. Opt. 35, 5484–5492 (1996).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, “Deposition error compensation for optical multilayer coatings. II. Experimental results—sputtering system,” Appl. Opt. 32, 2351–2360 (1993).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. A. Dobrowolski, J. R. Pekelsky, R. Pelletier, M. Ranger, B. T. Sullivan, A. J. Waldorf, “A practical magnetron sputtering system for the deposition of optical multilayer coatings,” Appl. Opt. 31, 3784–3789 (1992).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. A. Dobrowolski, “Modern computational methods for optical thin film systems,” Thin Solid Films 34, 313–321 (1976).
[CrossRef]

Howe, L.

B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, G. Clarke, T. Akiyama, N. Osborne, M. Ranger, L. Howe, A. Matsumoto, Y. Song, K. Kikuchi, “Manufacture of complex multilayer filters using an automated deposition system,” Vacuum 51, 647–654 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Kikuchi, K.

B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, G. Clarke, T. Akiyama, N. Osborne, M. Ranger, L. Howe, A. Matsumoto, Y. Song, K. Kikuchi, “Manufacture of complex multilayer filters using an automated deposition system,” Vacuum 51, 647–654 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Matsumoto, A.

B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, G. Clarke, T. Akiyama, N. Osborne, M. Ranger, L. Howe, A. Matsumoto, Y. Song, K. Kikuchi, “Manufacture of complex multilayer filters using an automated deposition system,” Vacuum 51, 647–654 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Osborne, N.

B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, G. Clarke, T. Akiyama, N. Osborne, M. Ranger, L. Howe, A. Matsumoto, Y. Song, K. Kikuchi, “Manufacture of complex multilayer filters using an automated deposition system,” Vacuum 51, 647–654 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Pekelsky, J. R.

Pelletier, R.

Ranger, M.

B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, G. Clarke, T. Akiyama, N. Osborne, M. Ranger, L. Howe, A. Matsumoto, Y. Song, K. Kikuchi, “Manufacture of complex multilayer filters using an automated deposition system,” Vacuum 51, 647–654 (1998).
[CrossRef]

J. A. Dobrowolski, J. R. Pekelsky, R. Pelletier, M. Ranger, B. T. Sullivan, A. J. Waldorf, “A practical magnetron sputtering system for the deposition of optical multilayer coatings,” Appl. Opt. 31, 3784–3789 (1992).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Song, Y.

B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, G. Clarke, T. Akiyama, N. Osborne, M. Ranger, L. Howe, A. Matsumoto, Y. Song, K. Kikuchi, “Manufacture of complex multilayer filters using an automated deposition system,” Vacuum 51, 647–654 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Sullivan, B. T.

Thoeni, W. P.

W. P. Thoeni, “Deposition of optical coatings: process control and automation,” Thin Solid Films 88, 385–397 (1982).
[CrossRef]

Waldorf, A. J.

Appl. Opt. (4)

Phys. Can. (1)

B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, “Integrated design and manufacture of thin film multilayer filters using an automated deposition system,” Phys. Can. 52, 213–215 (1996).

Thin Solid Films (2)

J. A. Dobrowolski, “Modern computational methods for optical thin film systems,” Thin Solid Films 34, 313–321 (1976).
[CrossRef]

W. P. Thoeni, “Deposition of optical coatings: process control and automation,” Thin Solid Films 88, 385–397 (1982).
[CrossRef]

Vacuum (1)

B. T. Sullivan, J. A. Dobrowolski, G. Clarke, T. Akiyama, N. Osborne, M. Ranger, L. Howe, A. Matsumoto, Y. Song, K. Kikuchi, “Manufacture of complex multilayer filters using an automated deposition system,” Vacuum 51, 647–654 (1998).
[CrossRef]

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Figures (19)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Two-peak bandpass filter specified in the 420–580-nm spectral region. (a) Calculated and measured performance of a filter produced by rf-magnetron sputtering. (b) Refractive-index profile of the 35-layer system.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Spectral transmittance of a filter measured with the original NRCC (dotted curve) and a Hamamatsu Model PMA-50 (solid curve) optical monitor.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Equal-thickness contours of thin films produced on the new ac-magnetron sputtering system (a) with stationary substrate and no mask and (b) with a rotating substrate with the use of a mask. Adjacent contours correspond to a 0.5% change in thickness.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Determination of the optical constants of (a) Nb2O5 and (b) SiO2 layers from spectral transmittance and ellipsometric parameter ψ measurements. The fits between the measured and the calculated data.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Matrix study, for a given power applied to the target, of the quality of Nb2O5 films as a function of the partial pressure of the Ar and O2.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Variation of the refractive indices at λ = 500 nm of Nb2O5 with partial pressure (a) of Ar and of (b) O2.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Effect of high and low deposition power on the refractive indices of Nb2O5 and SiO2 layers. The layers were deposited with the powers indicated in Table 1.

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

Calculated and measured performance of a two-peak bandpass filter produced by high-rate ac-magnetron sputtering. Results (a) from the first attempt and from the (b) second attempt, with an improved process (see text).

Fig. 9
Fig. 9

Variation in (a) the target voltage and (b) the O2 partial pressures during the deposition of five different Nb2O5 layers in a run in which the initial O2 flow had always the same value.

Fig. 10
Fig. 10

(a) More stable target voltages and (b) O2 partial pressures obtained during the deposition of Nb2O5 layers in a run with improved process control (see text).

Fig. 11
Fig. 11

(a) and (b) Measured spectral transmittance and (c) nominal refractive-index profile of 93% partial reflectors produced during five separate deposition runs. The spectral transmittance at the minimum being so well reproduced from run to run indicates that the optical constants of the layers are easily reproducible (see text).

Fig. 12
Fig. 12

Calculated reflectance (a) of the 20-layer wide-band antireflection coating whose refractive-index profile is shown in (c). The measured values of (1-transmittance) of experimental coatings made in five separate deposition runs are shown in (b).

Fig. 13
Fig. 13

Monitoring of insensitive layers. (a) Effect of a ±5-nm perturbation of the thickness of the 25th layer on the calculated spectral transmittance of the first 25 layers of the two-peak bandpass filter of Fig. 1. (b) Typical calculated performances that can be expected when the thicknesses of the 25th layer are determined with conventional and modified measurement strategies (see text).

Fig. 14
Fig. 14

Five-deposition-run test of the repeatability of the two-peak bandpass interference filter deposited with the modified measurement strategy.

Fig. 15
Fig. 15

Monitoring of sensitive layers: camera daylight-simulation filter. (a) Calculated and measured transmittance and (b) refractive-index profile of the 20-layer filter. The remaining layers of the system were not reoptimized during this production run.

Fig. 16
Fig. 16

Monitoring of sensitive layers: camera daylight-simulation filter. (a) Effect of ±1-nm thickness errors in the 16th layer on the calculated transmittance of the finished filter. (b) Calculated, measured, and determined transmittances of a filter produced in a run in which the remaining layers of the system were reoptimized.

Fig. 17
Fig. 17

Nonpolarizing long-wavelength cut-off filter for use with light incident at 45°. (a) Calculated transmittance for p- and s-polarized light. (b) Refractive-index profile of the 56-layer system.

Fig. 18
Fig. 18

Measured normal-incidence spectral transmittances of the filter of Fig. 17 produced during five different deposition runs without real-time reoptimization.

Fig. 19
Fig. 19

Measured normal-incidence spectral transmittances of the filter of Fig. 17 produced during five subsequent deposition runs with real-time reoptimization.

Tables (2)

Tables Icon

Table 1 Deposition Parameters for the ac Magnetron Process

Tables Icon

Table 2 Film-Thickness Statistics

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