Ion beam based processes to prepare semiconductor components open possibilities to further down size electronic appliances in future. Aluminum-nitride (AlN) has potential applications in many fields of electronics such as ultra-violet light-emitting diodes and highly thermal conductivity dielectric materials. Direct implantation of AlN molecular ions into base materials may realize a new semiconductor fabrication process, and the possibility of realizing a pencil beam of AlN molecular ions has been started investigated.
A capacitively coupled 13.56 MHz RF magnetron sputter type ion source produces a beam of AlN$^+$. The source contains an aluminum target immersed in nitrogen containing plasma. Introduction of Ar gas into N$_2$ discharge plasma enhanced target sputtering, and beam current characteristics against the gas ratio of Ar to N$_2$ were measured for fixed gas pressure and RF power. The result showed beam current ratio of AlN$^+$ to Ar$^+$ increased with the increasing amount of Ar gas injected into N$_2$ plasma. The observed maximum ratio of AlN$^+$ to Ar$^+$ reached to about 1.5%, while the ratio of Al$^+$ to Ar$^+$ was about 24% at the corresponding discharge condition. The operating condition of the source was affected by formation of AlN layer, and the time dependent behavior of the AlN$^+$ beam is discussed in relation to the formation of AlN layer on the ion source wall.