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ICMATE in Padova has various apparatus for the deposition of thin films by three distinct PVD systems (Physical Vapor Deposition) for Magnetron Sputtering: a) a multi-confocal magnetron, b) a multi-magnetron multi-layer, which may both work in either mode DC- both RF- Magnetron Sputtering (DC and RF-MS), and c) an innovative system High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HIPIMS).

With HIPIMS, thanks to impulses of high power (of the order of kW⋅cm-2), it is possible to produce a ultra-dense plasma leading to degrees of ionization of sputtered material much higher than what obtained with conventional PVD techniques. The energy flow of ionized species to the substrate can be adjusted during the deposition. The flow of energy provided to the substrate is a key feature since it allows to adjust the mobility of adatoms and, as a consequence, the microstructure of the film. You can work in either non-reactive and reactive atmosphere for the production of oxides, nitrides and carbides. HIPIMS the system can work in hybrid combining HIPIMS with pulsed DC.

  • Deposition on complex geometries
  • Multi-magnetron

Main advantages of HIPIMS are:

  1. the ability to greatly improve the adhesion by means of a pretreatment of the substrate surface prior to deposition;
  2. the deposition of ultra dense film, with highly controlled microstructures, with an increased ratio hardness / Young's modulus than the conventional PVD coatings;
  3. particularly smooth surface morphology;
  4. the possibility of deposition with uniform properties even on substrates of complex shape.
HiPIMS vs. DC-MS: a) cross section of AlTiN film; b) top view of multi-layer W/Mo

The HIPIMS is employed in the development of protective coatings for components that must operate in critical conditions, including:

  • Coatings of Mo and Mo / Mo -N having low coefficient of friction and high wear resistance for an internal combustion engine;
    MoN via HiPIMS on commercial pistons (AlSi alloy) for internal combustion engine
  • Coatings based on AlTiN resistant to tribo-corrosion at high temperatures (e.g. gas turbine blades).
    AlTiN via HiPIMS on γ-TiAlalloy: effect of etching on morphology.
  • Coating of refractories metals for nuclear applications
    a) T91 test specimens coated by HiPIMS with AlTIN for molten lead tests; b) tiles for fusion reactors

    HiPIMS magnetron sputtering AlTiN Mo and MoN tribocorrosion tribology wear resistance

    • S. M. Deambrosis, E. Miorin, F. Montagner, V. Zin, M. Fabrizio, M. Sebastiani, F. Massimi, E. Bemporad
      Structural, morphological and mechanical characterization of Mo sputtered coatings
      Surface & Coatings Technology 266 (2015) 14–21
    • S.M. Deambrosis, E. Miorin, F. Montagner, V. Zin, M. Sebastiani, D. Dellasega, M. Passoni, E. Bemporad, M. Fabrizio
      PVD refractory metal based coatings for tribological applications
      In Proceedings of the World Tribology Congress WTC2013,Torino, Italy, 9–13 September 2013. ISBN: 978-1-63439-352-2
    • E. Vassallo, G. Angella, R. Caniello, S. Deambrosis, F. Inzoli, E. Miorin, M. Pedroni
      Effects of Nitrogen Concentration on Microstructure of Tungsten Coatings Synthesized by Plasma Sputtering Method
      Journal of Fusion Energy, 05/2015; doi: 10.1007/s10894-015-9945-0
    • E. Vassallo, R. Caniello, A. Cremona, G. Croci, D. Dellasega, G. Gorini, G. Grosso, E. Miorin, M. Passoni, M. Tardocchi
      Deposition of Boron-carbon multilayer coatings by RF plasma sputtering
      Surface & Coatings Technology 2013, 214, 59–62, doi: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2012.11.001
    • S. M. Deambrosis, E. Miorin, F. Montagner, V. Zin, M. Fabrizio
      Low temperature HiPIMS Mo-N coatings deposition on AlSi engine pistons
      submitted to Thin Solids Films

    • Accordo di Programma CNR-Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico per la Ricerca di Sistema Elettrico
    • European Project MATISSE

    • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (U.S.A.)
    • Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik di Garching (Germany)
    • Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research – DIFFER, Nieuwegein, NL
    • Centrum vyzkumu Rez s.r.o., Czech Republic
    • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Institute for Pulsed Power and Microwave Technology (KIT-IHM), Germany
    • Politecnico di Torino
    • Politecnico di Milano
    • UniRoma3
    • CNR-IFP Milano
    • CNR-IFP Milano
    • CNR–IGI
    • Consorzio RFX – Associazione ENEA Euratom