Sputter coating is widely used for the fabrication of thin films in a highly diverse range of applications – from decorative and low emissivity coatings on glass, through to engineering coatings on products used in today’s most demanding applications. Optimization of the deposited film properties and utilization of the sputter target are critical for the performance of the end-product and for the economics of the process. Opera combines accurate finite element analysis with detailed models for plasma, sputtering, and film deposition to provide the first practical tools for magnetron design and optimization.
For the first time, designers of magnetrons and sputter coaters have access to an effective design simulation tool. In many areas of engineering and product design such tools have proven ability for enhancing performance, reducing costs and development timescales and aiding innovation to provide a competitive edge.
Opera’s simulation features of particular relevance to magnetron designers include:
• Full 3D system evaluation and design using advanced finite element simulation
• Magnetic field calculations during the simulation
• Include stray fields from adjacent magnetrons in a multi-magnetron coater environment
• Self-consistent charged particle modelling, including space charge and relativistic effects
• Rapid assessment of design variants
• Multi-variable, multi-objective optimization
With Opera, the designer can predict and optimize:
• Erosion groove profiles
• Target utilization
• Substrate coating profiles
• Coating dynamics – for characteristics and quality