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Surface processing with partially ionized plasmas

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1 Author(s)
Coburn, J.W. ; IBM Almaden Res. Center, San Jose, CA, USA

Partially ionized plasmas are used extensively to process surfaces in many areas of technology. Surface processing in this discussion includes deposition of thin films, etching of the surface itself, and modification of the existing surface by oxidation, nitriding, or texturing. Unique materials can be synthesized in reactive gas glow discharges. The development and optimization of plasma processes is impeded by both a lack of understanding of the mechanistic details and by the formidable parameter space associated with plasma equipment. The complexity of the reactive gas plasma environment coupled with the large parameter space causes difficulty in process development and optimization, but offers opportunities for discovery and invention. The ability of partially ionized plasmas to generate uniform fluxes over wide areas of energetic ions and/or reactive neutral atoms or radicals can be expected to ensure continued widespread applications for the plasma processing of surfaces

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 6 )