Magnetic control in vacuum arc deposition: A review

Raymond L. Boxman*, Isak I. Beilis, Evgeny Gidalevich, Vladimir N. Zhitomirsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The use of magnetic fields to control cathode spot location and' motion and to collimate and direct the plasma flow in vacuum arc deposition apparatus is reviewed. Retrograde and acute angle motion are used to control the location and motion of cathode spots, in order to confine them to the cathode surface facing the substrates, to prevent local overheating, and to reduce macroparticle production. Axial fields are use to collimate cathode spot produced plasma jets and to bend them around macroparticle-occluding obstacles in filtered vacuum arc deposition. Advances have been made in understanding these phenomena, but theoretical models have not yet been formulated which can predict plasma behavior sufficiently well for apparatus design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1618-1625
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number5 I
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Cathode spots
  • Macroparticle filtering
  • Magnetic collimation
  • Magnetic steering
  • Retrograde motion
  • Vacuum arc
  • Vacuum arc deposition


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