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Ion mean charge state in a biased vacuum arc plasma duct

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5 Author(s)
D. T. -K. Kwok ; Dept. of Phys., City Univ. of Hong Kong, Kowloon, China ; P. K. Chu ; M. M. M. Bilek ; I. G. Brown
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Vacuum arc or cathodic arc metal plasma sources are attractive and convenient for depositing high-quality thin metal films and metallurgical coatings. It is a common practice to use a curved magnetic filter duct to eliminate macroparticle contamination and to bias the duct wall with a positive voltage to enhance the throughput of the metal plasma. The metal plasma usually consists of several charge states and time-of-flight (TOF) experiments show that the mean charge state of the metal ions decreases with increasing bias and magnetic field applied to the filter duct. We also derive the throughput of ions with different charge states at different bias voltage and magnetic field by the particle-in-cell (PIC) method. The ion trajectory is simulated neglecting the influence of electron charge. Our results show that the simulated mean charge state displays a similar decreasing trend as the bias voltage and magnetic field strength are increased. Phenomena such as reduction of the mean charge state at high magnetic field strength and bias can be explained in terms of standalone multiply charged metal ions under the influences of magnetic and electric forces inside the filter duct

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IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 6 )