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Numerical simulations of electrical asymmetry effect on electronegative plasmas in capacitively coupled rf discharge

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4 Author(s)
Zhang, Quan-Zhi ; School of Physics and Optoelectronic Technology, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China ; Jiang, Wei ; Hou, Lu-Jing ; Wang You-Nian

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Recently a so-called electrical asymmetry effect (EAE), which could achieve high-degree separate control of ion flux and energy in dual-frequency capacitively coupled radio-frequency (CCRF) discharges, was discovered theoretically by Heil etal [J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 41, 165202 (2008)] and was confirmed by experiments and theory/numerical simulations later on for electropositive argon discharges. In this work simulations based on particle-in-cell/Monte Carlo collision are performed to study the EAE on electronegative oxygen plasmas in geometrically symmetric CCRF discharges. Dual frequency discharges operating at 13.56 and 27.12 MHz are simulated for different pressures and the results are compared with those of electropositive argon discharges at the same conditions. It is found that in general the EAE on oxygen discharges has similar behavior as on argon discharge: The self-bias voltage η increases monotonically and almost linearly with the increase in the phase angle θ between the two driving voltages in the range 0<θ<90°, and the maximum ion energy varies by a factor of 3 by adjusting θ. However, the ion flux varies with θ by ±12% for low pressure and by ±15% for higher pressure, due primarily to an enhanced plasma series resonance, which then leads to dramatic changes in plasma density, power absorption and consequently the electronegativity. This may place a limitation for achieving separate control of ion energy and flux for electronegative plasma via the EAE.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:109 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan 2011

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