A compact retarding field analyzer with embedded quartz crystal microbalance has been developed to measure deposition rate, ionized flux fraction, and ion energy distribution arriving at the substrate location. The sensor can be placed on grounded, electrically floating, or radio frequency (rf) biased electrodes. A calibration method is presented to compensate for temperature effects in the quartz crystal. The metal deposition rate, metal ionization fraction, and energy distribution of the ions arriving at the substrate location are investigated in an asymmetric bipolar pulsed dc magnetron sputtering reactor under grounded, floating, and rf biased conditions. The diagnostic presented in this research work does not suffer from complications caused by water cooling arrangements to maintain constant temperature and is an attractive technique for characterizing a thin film deposition system.

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