Centre Triggered, High Current, Pulsed Cathodic Arc

Cathodic arcs are an effective way of creating ions from a solid target.

Our pioneering work on the development of centre triggered pulsed cathodic arc technology enables the formation of alloy materials of controlled composition or multilayered structures when multiple cathodes are used. Software controls the firing of the cathodes and hence the flux deposited on the growth surface according to preprogrammed recipes.

The key to good control of the deposited composition is the uniform erosion of the target achieved by triggering from the centre of the cathode. The use of high current reduces fluctuations in the plasma density and the emission of troublesome macroparticles. We are using advanced plasma diagnostic methods to study the fundamental physics of the cathode spots and their interactions with each other.

cathodic arc

Above: PhD student Mark Tucker (LHS) and visiting academic Dr Tom Oates (RHS) depositing nanostructured thin film samples on the centre triggered high current pulsed cathodic arc.