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    Modeling and Simulation of Magnetron Sputterred NiTi Thin Film Deposition by SRIM/TRIM

    Behera, Ajit, Saxena, Kuldeep, Prakash, Chander, Pramanik, Alokesh, Haider, Julfikar ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7010-8285, Basak, Animesh and Shankar, S (2023) Modeling and Simulation of Magnetron Sputterred NiTi Thin Film Deposition by SRIM/TRIM. Surface Review and Letters. ISSN 0218-625X

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    Abstract

    Nickel-Titanium (Ni-Ti) thin films have gained a lot of attention due to their unique features, such as the shape memory effect. Micro-actuators, micro-valve, micro-fluid pumps, bio-medical applications, and electronic applications have a lot of interest in these smart thin films. Sputter-deposited NiTi thin films have shown the potential to be very useful as a powerful actuator in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) because of their large recovery forces and high recoverable strains. Despite the advancement of improved deposition methods for the NiTi thin films, there are still certain unsolved challenges that impede accurate composition control throughout the deposition process. Many applications, spanning from the aerospace industries to a range of nanotechnologies, require knowledge of the sputtering characteristics of the materials that are subjected to bombardment, ejection, and deposition of ions. In recent decades, atomic scale modeling has been given a high emphasis in ion sputtering research, providing an adequate and precise description of collision cascades in solids using the Stopping and Range of Ions in Matter (SRIM) and Transport of Ions in Matter (TRIM). In this paper, SRIM is used to address how the heavy ions interact with the target materials. A variety of ion-solid interaction characteristics, including the sputter yield, have been determined by simulating collision cascades in the solids. On the other hand, TRIM was used to describe the range of ions that enter into the matter and cause damage to the target throughout the process. The simulation was carried out to compare the sputtering yield of Ni and Ti by varying the energy input (from 300V to 1300V). SRIM simulation was conducted by varying the thickness of the film, the angle of incidence of ions, and the energy involved in the sputtering process. The characterization of the films has been carried out using Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) to comprehend the surface and interface morphologies of the films and to validate the simulated results. With an increase in energy input (target voltage), the sputtering yield increased. The sputtering yield of the Ni target was higher than the Ti target indicating that Ni can be removed relatively easier than Ti.

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