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A particle-in-cell simulation of dust charging and shielding in low pressure glow discharges

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2 Author(s)
Choi, Seung J. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Illinois Univ., Urbana, IL, USA ; Kushner, M.J.

The transport of particles (“dust”) in low pressure electrical glow discharges is being studied in regard to its role in contaminating silicon wafers during plasma etching and deposition. Particles (10 s nm-μm) negatively charge in glow discharges and, to first order, appear to be massively large negative ions around which sheaths develop. The forces on particles in plasmas include electrostatic (drift of charged particles in electric fields) and viscous ion drag. The latter force is momentum transfer from ions to particles by either collisions or orbital motion. This force critically depends on the charge on the particle and the shape of the sheath surrounding the particle. In this work, we report on a pseudoparticle-in-cell (PIC) simulation of the transport of electrons and ions in the vicinity of dust particles in low pressure glow discharges. The simulation produces the electrical charge on the dust particle, the sheath structure around the dust particle and the orbital dynamics of the ions. A companion molecular dynamics simulation uses these parameters to produce ion-dust and electron-dust particle cross sections for momentum transfer and collection. Results will be discussed for charge, sheath thickness, cross sections and viscous ion drag forces on dust particles as a function of radius and plasma parameters

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 2 )