Innovation and Partnerships Office

Cathodic Arc Plasma System with Twist Filter: Miniaturized Cathodic Arc Plasma Source IB-1497

E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


  • Use with a variety of filtered cathodic arc systems
  • Deposition of dense, defect-free, continuous films


  • High plasma throughput
  • Pre-cleaned of macroparticles


André Anders, Robert MacGill and Marcela Bilek of Berkeley Lab have designed a miniaturized source to produce cathodic arc plasma that is pre-cleaned of macroparticles. The location of the plasma output is well defined, in contrast to conventional, large, DC-operated cathodic arc plasma sources. Precise plasma location is a precondition for using miniaturized macroparticle filters such as the Twist Filter described above. Miniaturization is mandatory for high plasma throughput through macroparticle filters. The researchers have demonstrated 40 A of pulsed filtered ion current using this source and the newly designed Twist Filter. These figures surpass any published or publicly known figures by a wide margin.

See also Advanced Macroparticle Twist Filter, Magnetic Expander and Homogenizer for Cathodic Arc Plasmas, IB-1484, and Triggerless method of cathodic arc initiation, IB-1489.

STATUS: U.S. Patent #6,548,817. Available for licensing