Experiments were conducted using pulse magnetron sputtering (PMS) to deposit transparent conducting indium tin oxide (ITO) thin film onto flexible polyethersulfone (PES) plastic substrates. The thin film microstructure, optoelectronic and residual stress were analyzed using the modulating PMS power, work pressure, pulse frequency, duty cycle and cycle time process parameters. The residual stress of the thin film was determined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) combined with the Sony equation. The experimental results show that PMS has a lower process temperature, higher deposition rate and lower resistivity compared with the radio frequency process at the same output power. The duty cycle increase produces the optimum optoelectronic characteristics. When the pressure, power, duty cycle and sputter time are increased, the thin film stress will also increase, causing flexural distortion in the PES plastic substrate. When the deposition thickness reaches 1.5 μm, ITO thin film will appear with a distinct split. Under 5 mtorr work pressure, 60 W power, 33 μs duty time and 2 μs pulse reverse time at duty cycle 95%, thin film with an optimized electrical 3.0 × 10 -4 Ω-cm, RMS surface roughness of 0.85 nm and visible region optical transmittance will be achieved with acquisition of over 85%.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films