Thesis topic

Plasma-based sputter deposition processes for the synthesis of nanoscale functional thin films

  • Type
    Doctorate Post-doctorate


This research project aims at contributing towards the fundamental understanding of plasma-surface interactions in the case of magnetron sputtering-based processes. Understanding the plasma properties allows tailoring the thin film physico-chemical properties towards the targeted applications in fields like electronics, photonics, mechanical engineering, energy production and storage, …

Magnetron sputtering is a thin film deposition technique offering a wide range of possibilities in terms of materials synthesis. Many variations are available such as reactive sputtering, co-sputtering, Glancing Angle Deposition (GLAD), High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HiPIMS) and, in the recent years, bipolar HiPIMS (B-HiPIMS). In each case, the process is adapted to provide more degrees of freedom hence allowing the fine tuning of the film chemistry and micro-/nanostructure. However, there are still various aspect of the plasma – wall interaction to understand such as, e.g., in the case of HiPIMS processes where intense ion-bombardment is implement during film growth. There are also numerous examples where sputtering processes can be beneficial and deposition recipes must be optimized to match the application criteria.

To reach the above-mentioned goal, advanced plasma diagnostic techniques as well as surface and materials analysis tools are implemented. We also work in close collaboration with research groups involved in materials characterization and modelling.

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