Influence of Target-Substrate Distance on the Transport Process of Sputtered Atoms: MC-MD Multiscale Coupling Simulation

G Zhu and QX Du and BJ Xiao and GX Chen and ZY Gan, MATERIALS, 15, 8904 (2022).

DOI: 10.3390/ma15248904

A Monte Carlo (MC) and molecular dynamics (MD) coupling simulation scheme for sputtered particle transport was first proposed in this work. In this scheme, the MC method was utilized to model the free-flight process of sputtered atoms, while the MD model was adopted to simulate the collision between the sputtered atom and background gas atom so as to self-consistently calculate the post-collision velocity of the sputtered atom. The reliability of the MD collision model has been verified by comparing the computation results of the MD model and of an analytical model. This MC-MD coupling simulation scheme was used to investigate the influence of target-substrate distance on the transport characteristic parameters of sputtered Cu atoms during magnetron sputtering discharge. As the target-substrate distance increased from 30 to 150 mm, the peak energy of the incident energy distribution of deposited Cu atoms decreased from 2 to 1 eV due to the gradual thermalization of sputtered atoms. The distribution of differential deposition rate in unit solid angle firstly became more forward-peaked and then reversely approached the cosine distribution, which was agreed with the existing experimental observations. This work is expected to provide a more realistic simulation scheme for sputtered particle transport, which can be further combined with the MD simulation of sputtered film growth to explore the influence mechanism of process parameters on the properties of sputtered film.

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