Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Pritish Mukherjee, Ph.D.


Anode, Cathode, Pulsed, Arc, PFN


This thesis presents a study of a pulsed distributed arc plasma deposition method that has been developed to produce highly ionized pulsed plasma plumes of metallic species in the presence of a low-pressure inert or reactive gas glow discharge. A pulse-forming network (PFN) is used to form a transient electrical discharge in a hollow electrode which is triggered by two different methods; a pulsed CO2 laser or a pulsed high voltage glow discharge. With the PFN charged to a voltage of 70 - 100 VDC, current pulses with peak currents up to 3 kA and pulse widths as long 3.7 milliseconds have been reached. A detailed treatment of the influence of process parameters, such as the PFN discharge energy and ambient gas pressure and type, on the plasma properties is presented. These experiments also demonstrated a higher on-axis growth rate of carbon in an ambient of nitrogen than in argon. The higher argon mass leads to broader plasma expansion producing broader deposition profiles which results in lower on-axis growth rates. Deposition rates of 3.5 angstrom/pulse for carbon and 2.1 angstrom/pulse for titanium have been achieved. Thickness profiles and the morphology of carbon films and titanium films deposited by this method, which utilize the energetic advantage of ions in film formation allowing reduced substrate temperatures and good adhesion, are presented.