Active plasma resonance spectroscopy: a functional analytic description

Martin Lapke, Jens Oberrath, Thomas Mussenbrock, Ralf Peter Brinkmann

2013 Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. 22 025005


The term 'active plasma resonance spectroscopy' denotes a class of diagnostic methods which employ the ability of plasmas to resonate on or near the plasma frequency. The basic idea dates back to the early days of discharge physics: a signal in the GHz range is coupled to the plasma via an electrical probe; the spectral response is recorded, and then evaluated with a mathematical model to obtain information on the electron density and other plasma parameters. In recent years, the concept has found renewed interest as a basis of industry compatible plasma diagnostics. This paper analyzes the diagnostic technique in terms of a general description based on functional analytic (or Hilbert Space) methods which hold for arbitrary probe geometries. It is shown that the response function of the plasma–probe system can be expressed as a matrix element of the resolvent of an appropriately defined dynamical operator. A specialization of the formalism to a symmetric probe design is given, as well as an interpretation in terms of a lumped circuit model consisting of series resonance circuits. We present ideas for an optimized probe design based on geometric and electrical symmetry.