Recent progress in filtered vacuum arc deposition

R. L. Boxman*, V. Zhitomirsky, B. Alterkop, E. Gidalevich, I. Beilis, M. Keidar, S. Goldsmith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Scopus citations


During this decade significant advances have been made both in the understanding and implementation of filtered vacuum arc deposition. Rigid rotor models have been analyzed statistically, and new models which treat the mutual influence of the electrons and ions on each other self-consistently, take into account the centrifugal force on the ions, and take into consideration collisions, have been formulated. It was shown that the plasma transport efficiency is limited by drifts caused by the centrifugal force and by the electric field generated by charge separation in the plasma. For a range of magnetic fields strengths for which the ions are not magnetized, i.e., confined to a Larmor radius less than the duct radius, the transport efficiency for Cu plasma is about 10%, and depends only weakly on the magnetic field strength. Increased transmission is found when the ions are magnetized, reaching about 50% for a 36-60 mT field in typical configurations. The plasma transport efficiency and spatial distribution has been measured over a large parameter range, and correlated with the various theories. The plasma beam may be approximated as a Gaussian distribution which is displaced in the B × G direction, where G is in the direction of the centrifugal force, while a displacement in the plane of symmetry is surprisingly found in the -G direction. The total convected ion current decreases exponentially with distance from the toroidal filter entrance. Macroparticle transport within the magnetic filter has been analyzed, and it has been shown that electrostatic reflection from the walls can occur if the magnetic field is weak. Filtered arc sources with improved throughput performance and novel geometries have been built, and are now available commercially. The range of coatings deposited with FVAD has been expanded to include metals, oxides, and nitrides, as well as diamond-like carbon. In several cases, coatings having the highest quality reported in the literature have been fabricated with the FVAD technique, and one commercial application has been reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-253
Number of pages11
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Issue numberPART 1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1996


  • Filtered vacuum arc deposition


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