Physical vapour deposition of thin films for use in superconducting RF cavities

The production of superconducting coatings for radio frequency cavities is a rapidly developing field that should ultimately lead to acceleration gradients greater than those obtained by bulk Nb RF cavities. Optimizing superconducting properties of Nb thin-films is therefore essential. Nb films were deposited by magnetron sputtering in pulsed DC mode onto Si (100) and MgO (100) substrates and also by high impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) onto Si (100), MgO (100) and polycrystalline Cu. The films were characterised using scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction and DC SQUID magnetometry.