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Improved sheath model for the biased substrate in a vacuum arc with cathode spots

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4 Author(s)
Zhongyuan Cheng ; Mech. Eng. Inst., Nanjing Univ. of Aeronaut. & Astronaut., China ; Jiyan Zou ; Lei Yang ; Lichun Cheng

This paper presents a theoretical model that describes the sheath around a negatively biased substrate in a vacuum arc deposition (VAD) plasma. The model consists of: 1) Poisson's equation for the potential distribution, 2) Boltzmann's distribution for the electrons, and 3) a cosinusoidal form for the ion spatial distribution. The simplified model equations were solved numerically for the potential distribution and sheath thickness as a function of the process parameters such as bias voltage and radial distance from the cathode. The obtained sheath thickness versus bias voltage is compared with those from the Child-Langmuir equation. The numerical results show that the sheath has a very sharp edge and that its thickness is much larger than the Debye length

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 4 )