Rotating cylindrical magnetrons are used intensively on industrial scale. A rotating cylindrical magnetron on laboratory scale makes it possible to study this deposition technique in detail and under well controlled conditions. Therefore, a small scale rotating cylindrical magnetron was designed and used to study the influence of the rotation speed on the hysteresis behavior during reactive magnetron sputtering of aluminum in ArO2 in dc mode. This study reveals that the hysteresis shifts towards lower oxygen flows when the rotation speed of the target is increased, i.e., target poisoning occurs more readily when the rotation speed is increased. The shift is more pronounced for the lower branch of the hysteresis loop than for the upper branch of the hysteresis. This behavior can be understood qualitatively. The results also show that the oxidation mechanism inside the race track is different from the oxidation mechanism outside the race track. Indeed, outside the race track the oxidation mechanism is only defined by chemisorption while inside the race track reactive ion implantation will also influence the oxidation mechanism.

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