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Effects of interelectrode gap on high frequency and very high frequency capacitively coupled plasmas

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4 Author(s)
Bera, K. ; Applied Materials, Inc., 974 E. Arques Ave., M/S 81517, Sunnyvale, California 94085 ; Rauf, S. ; Ramaswamy, K. ; Collins, Ken

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Capacitively coupled plasma (CCP) discharges using high frequency (HF) and very high frequency (VHF) sources are widely used for dielectric etching in the semiconductor industry. A two-dimensional fluid plasma model is used to investigate the effects of interelectrode gap on plasma spatial characteristics of both HF and VHF CCPs. The plasma model includes the full set of Maxwell’s equations in their potential formulation. The peak in plasma density is close to the electrode edge at 13.5 MHz for a small interelectrode gap. This is due to electric field enhancement at the electrode edge. As the gap is increased, the plasma produced at the electrode edge diffuses to the chamber center and the plasma becomes more uniform. At 180 MHz, where electromagnetic standing wave effects are strong, the plasma density peaks at the chamber center at large interelectrode gap. As the interelectrode gap is decreased, the electron density increases near the electrode edge due to inductive heating and electrostatic electron heating, which makes the plasma more uniform in the interelectrode region.

Published in:

Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 4 )