On plasma ion beam formation in the Advanced Plasma Source

Jens Harhausen, Ralf Peter Brinkmann, Rüdiger Foest, Mario Hannemann, Andreas Ohl, Benjamin Schröder

Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. 21 (2012) 035012


The Advanced Plasma Source (APS) is employed for plasma ion-assisted deposition (PIAD) of optical coatings. The APS is a hot cathode dc glow discharge which emits a plasma ion beam to the deposition chamber at high vacuum (p <= 2 × 10E?4 mbar). It is established as an industrial tool but to date no detailed information is available on plasma parameters in the process chamber. As a consequence, the details of the generation of the plasma ion beam and the reasons for variations of the properties of the deposited films are barely understood. In this paper the results obtained from Langmuir probe and retarding field energy analyzer diagnostics operated in the plasma plume of the APS are presented, where the source was operated with argon. With increasing distance to the source exit the electron density (ne) is found to drop by two orders of magnitude and the effective electron temperature (Te,eff) drops by a factor of five. The parameters close to the source region read ne ~ 10E+11 cmE?3 and Te,eff ~ 10 eV. The electron distribution function exhibits a concave shape and can be described in the framework of the non-local approximation. It is revealed that an energetic ion population leaves the source region and a cold ion population in the plume is build up by charge exchange collisions with the background neutral gas. Based on the experimental data a scaling law for ion beam power is deduced, which links the control parameters of the source to the plasma parameters in the process chamber.


tags: Advanced Plasma Source, APS, plasma