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Neutral depletion in inductively coupled plasmas using hybrid-type direct simulation Monte Carlo

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3 Author(s)
Shimada, Masashi ; Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Center for Energy Research, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, California 92093-0417, USA ; Tynan, George R. ; Cattolica, Robert

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Neutral and ion transport phenomena were simulated by a hybrid-type direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method for a one-dimensional (1D) electrostatic plasma in Ar/N2 mixtures to identify the mechanism of neutral depletion. The results show that gas heating and pressure balance are the main mechanisms of neutral depletion in an inductively coupled plasma. When plasma pressure becomes comparable to neutral pressure in high density plasma sources (Te∼2-5 eV, ne∼1011-1012 cm-3), the total pressure (neutral pressure and plasma pressure) is conserved. Therefore, the finite plasma pressure (mainly electron pressure) reduces the neutral pressure. Neutrals collide with ions that have been accelerated by the ambipolar electric field and with Franck-Condon dissociated atoms, resulting in gas heating. Significant neutral depletion (up to 90%) is found at the typical condition of inductively coupled plasma process reactors. The resulting neutral depletion enhances the plasma transport to the surrounding wall, increases the particle loss, and decreases the plasma density.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:103 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

Feb 2008

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