An Innovative Cylindrical magnetron sputtering source for the deposition of HIE-ISOLDE superconducting Nb/Cu QWRs – Daniel Adrien Franco Lespinasse PhD Thesis

Author: Daniel Adrien Franco Lespinasse; Type of thesis: PhD Thesis
Abstract: In the framework of Eucard project, it has been carried out, in collaboration with CERN, the R&D on magnetron sputtering deposition on the HIE-ISOLDE cavity geometry, as an alternative method to deposit niobium thin films. In this research a new magnetron configuration source was tested at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN-LNL), in order to deposit a uniform niobium thin film onto copper superconducting Quarter Wave Resonator cavities. The methodology was divided in three. A first part, in which a test dummy cavity and a test cathode were used in order to deposit stainless steel onto copper quartz. The purpose of the use of steel has been finding the right parameters of sputtering and also to analyze the uniformity of the film. In this first phase it have been tested several magnetic confinements, which allowed the optimization of the deposition. In parallel it was performed the deposition of stainless steel onto copper strips, to realize the stripping test as a method to analyze the uniformity of the film. The second part was focused on the deposition of niobium thin film onto quartz samples placed along the resonator to improve the superconducting properties, specifically Residual Resistivity Ratio (RRR) and Critical Temperature (Tc); nevertheless other magnetic confinements were tested to maintain the uniformity of the coating. It was studied the influence on superconducting properties of two principal parameters of the sputtering process: the power and the substrate temperature. After setting the deposition parameters, a definitive magnetron confinement was used to deposit the real copper QWR. The RF performance was also measured after the design, construction and installation of a test cryostat. Finally, it was found the magnetic source to deposit a niobium thin film uniformly over QWR cavities. Increasing the substrate temperature and the sputtering power, the transition temperature of the niobium thin film was around 9,3K and it was obtained a maximum RRR of 61. Only 30 min were necessary to deposit the film with a uniformity of 2±1 μm along the cavity. SEM results allowed to analyze the microstructure of the niobium film. Bigger grains were founds on the inner conductor closer to the magnetron source. In addition a test cryostat was successfully built in order to measure the RF performance; the system can be useful to perform measurements at 4.2 and 1.8 K. Respect to the RF performance the first Nb/Cu cavity is under the specifications of CERN with a maximum Q value of 2e8 and an accelerating field of 2MV/m; however this first result is extremely important to start with the optimization phase. Some parameters will be changed in order to improve the performance and push the SRF community to use the magnetron sputtering technique as an economical method to deposit superconducting cavities in short times.