Amorphous carbon thin films: Mechanisms of hydrogen incorporation during magnetron sputtering and consequences for the secondary electron emission

C. F. Adame, E. Alves, N. P. Barradas, P. Costa Pinto, Y. Delaup, I. M. M. Ferreira, H. Neupert, M. Himmerlich, S. Pfeiffer, M. Rimoldi, M. Taborelli, O. M. N. D. Teodoro, N. Bundaleski

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Abstract

Amorphous carbon (a-C) films, having low secondary electron yield (SEY), are used at CERN to suppress electron multipacting in the beam pipes of particle accelerators. It was already demonstrated that hydrogen impurities increase the SEY of a-C films. In this work, a systematic characterization of a set of a-C coatings, deliberately contaminated by deuterium during the magnetron sputtering deposition, by scanning electron microscopy, ion beam analysis, secondary ion mass spectrometry, and optical absorption spectroscopy was performed to establish a correlation between the hydrogen content and the secondary electron emission properties. In parallel, the mechanisms of contamination were also investigated. Adding deuterium allows resolving the contributions of intentional and natural contamination. The results enabled us to quantify the relative deuterium/hydrogen (D/H) amounts and relate them with the maximum SEY (SEYmax). The first step of incorporation appears to be formation of D/H atoms in the discharge. An increase in both the flux of deposited carbon atoms and the discharge current with a D2 fraction in the gas discharge can be explained by target poisoning with deuterium species followed by etching of CxDy clusters, mainly by physical sputtering. For overall relative D/H amounts between 11% and 47% in the discharge gas, the SEYmax increases almost linearly from 0.99 to 1.38. An abrupt growth of SEYmax from 1.38 to 2.12 takes place in the narrow range of D/H relative content of 47%-54%, for which the nature of the deposited films changes to a polymer-like layer.
Original languageEnglish
Article number043412
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Volume41
Issue number4
Early online date23 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

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