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A Small Microwave Plasma Source for Long Column Production without Magnetic Field

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3 Author(s)
Moisan, Michel ; Département de Physique, Université de Montréal Montréal 101, Québec ; Beaudry, Claude ; Leprince, Philippe

A new HF device is described. It allows the production, without the use of a magnetic field, of long plasma columns from a small HF coupling structure situated at one end of the column. Its operation is based on the propagation of a cold plasma surface wave. This device can work (in argon for example) at pressures from 2 mTorr to 20 Torr with electron densities from 1010 cm-3 to 1013 cm-3, depending on plasma diameter and HF power. Typically, 80W of 500 MHz HF will produce a 25 mn diameter column of 1.8 m length. The plasma is quiescent (low electron density fluctuations), efficient (~ 100% absorbed power), and perfectly reproducible. It can be used as a substitute for a positive column, and some practical applications are foreseen in ion production, laser excitation, gas preionization and spectroscopic sources.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 2 )