Nonlinear electron resonance heating in capacitive radio frequency discharges

Thomas Mussenbrock, Ralf Peter Brinkmann

Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 151503 (2006)


Technological processing plasmas are frequently operated at relatively low gas pressure (<10?Pa). A characteristic feature of this regime is that collisions of the electrons with the atoms or molecules of the neutral background are relatively rare, and the so-called collisional or Ohmic heating ceases to be an effective mechanism of energy deposition into the plasma. Experiments indicate that at low pressure an alternative mechanism of electron heating exists which can sustain the plasma. Despite 30?years of intense research, the exact nature of this “anomalous” heating mechanism is still under discussion. The two standard models are known as “stochastic heating” and “pressure heating,” respectively. This work proposes a third explanation of anomalous electron heating and suggests that, in the last analysis, all three mechanisms may contribute to the observed effect.


Tags: nonlinear electron resonance heating, RF discharges