Results 1 - 10 of 2643
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[en] High throughput plasma mass separation requires rotation control in a high density multi-species plasmas. A preliminary mass separation device based on a helicon plasma operating in gas mixtures and featuring concentric biasable ring electrodes is introduced. Plasma profile shows strong response to electrode biasing. In light of floating potential measurements, the density response is interpreted as the consequence of a reshaping of the radial electric field in the plasma. This field can be made confining or de-confining depending on the imposed potential at the electrodes, in a way which is consistent with single particle orbit radial stability. In conclusion, concurrent spatially resolved spectroscopic measurements suggest ion separation, with heavy to light ion emission line ratio increasing with radius when a specific potential gradient is applied to the electrodes
[en] Hot cathodes are crucial components in a variety of plasma sources and applications, but they induce mode transitions and oscillations that are not fully understood. It is often assumed that negatively biased hot cathodes have a space-charge limited (SCL) sheath whenever the current is limited. Here, we show on theoretical grounds that a SCL sheath cannot persist. First, charge-exchange ions born within the virtual cathode (VC) region get trapped and build up. After the ion density reaches the electron density at a point in the VC, a new neutral region is formed and begins growing in space. In planar geometry, this 'new plasma' containing cold trapped ions and cold thermoelectrons grows towards the anode and fills the gap, leaving behind an inverse cathode sheath. This explains how transitions from temperature-limited mode to anode glow mode occur in thermionic discharge experiments with magnetic fields. If the hot cathode is a small filament in an unmagnetized plasma, the trapped ion region is predicted to grow radially in both directions, get expelled if it reaches the cathode, and reform periodically. Filament-induced current oscillations consistent with this prediction have been reported in experiments. Here, we set up planar geometry simulations of thermionic discharges and demonstrate several mode transition phenomena for the first time. Lastly, our continuum kinetic code lacks the noise of particle simulations, enabling a closer study of the temporal dynamics.
[en] Parallel plate capacitively coupled plasmas in hydrogen at relatively high pressure (~1 Torr) are excited with tailored voltage waveforms containing up to five frequencies. Predictions of a hybrid model combining a particle-in-cell simulation with Monte Carlo collisions and a fluid model are compared to phase resolved optical emission spectroscopy measurements, yielding information on the dynamics of the excitation rate in these discharges. When the discharge is excited with amplitude asymmetric waveforms, the discharge becomes electrically asymmetric, with different ion energies at each of the two electrodes. Unexpectedly, large differences in the fluxes to each of the two electrodes are caused by the different energies. When the discharge is excited with slope asymmetric waveforms, only weak electrical asymmetry of the discharge is observed. In this case, electron power absorption due to fast sheath expansion at one electrode is balanced by electron power absorption at the opposite electrode due to a strong electric field reversal.
[en] The results of recent experimental and numerical studies of nanosecond high-voltage discharges in pressurized gases are reviewed. The discharges were ignited in a diode filled by different gases within a wide range of pressures by an applied pulsed voltage or by a laser pulse in the gas-filled charged resonant microwave cavity. Fast-framing imaging of light emission, optical emission spectroscopy, X-ray foil spectrometry and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering were used to study temporal and spatial evolution of the discharge plasma density and temperature, energy distribution function of runaway electrons and dynamics of the electric field in the plasma channel. The results obtained allow a deeper understanding of discharge dynamical properties in the nanosecond timescale, which is important for various applications of these types of discharges in pressurized gases.
[en] In this paper, we investigate the propagation and damping of helicon waves along the length (~50 cm) of a helicon-produced 20 kW hydrogen plasma (~1-2 1019 m-3, ~1-6 eV, H2 8 mTorr) operated in a magnetic mirror configuration (antenna region: 50-200 G and mirror region: 800 G). Experimental results show the presence of traveling helicon waves (~10 G and ~ 10-15 cm) propagating away from the antenna region which become collisionally absorbed within 40 to 50 cm. We describe the use of the WKB method to calculate wave damping and provide an expression to assess its validity based on experimental measurements. By comparing theory and experiment, we show that for the conditions associated with this paper classical collisions are sufficient to explain the observed wave damping along the length of the plasma column. Based on these results, we provide an expression for the scaling of helicon wave damping relevant to high density discharges and discuss the location of surfaces for plasma-material interaction studies in our device (MAGPIE).
[en] We report on the electrode-selective deposition and etching of hydrogenated silicon thin films using a plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition process excited by sawtooth-shaped tailored voltage waveforms (TVWs). The slope asymmetry of such waveforms leads to a different rate of sheath expansion and contraction at each electrode, and therefore different electron power absorption near each electrode. This effect was employed with an SiF4/H2/Ar plasma chemistry, as the surface processes that result from this gas mixture depend strongly on the local balance between multiple precursors. For a specific gas flow ratio, a deposition rate of 0.82 Å s−1 on one electrode and an etching rate of 1.2 Å s−1 on the other were achieved. Moreover, this deposition/etching balance is controlled by the H2 flow rate, which limits the deposition rate at low flows. When the H2 injection is sufficiently high, the processes are then limited by the dissociation of SiF4, and the relative rate of the surface processes on the two electrodes are reversed, i.e. a higher net deposition rate is observed on the electrode where the fast sheath contraction occurs due to the electronegative character of the plasma. (letter)
[en] A new reactive ionization region model (R-IRM) is developed to describe the reactive Ar/O2 high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) discharge with a titanium target. It is then applied to study the temporal behavior of the discharge plasma parameters such as electron density, the neutral and ion composition, the ionization fraction of the sputtered vapor, the oxygen dissociation fraction, and the composition of the discharge current. We study and compare the discharge properties when the discharge is operated in the two well established operating modes, the metal mode and the poisoned mode. Experimentally, it is found that in the metal mode the discharge current waveform displays a typical non-reactive evolution, while in the poisoned mode the discharge current waveform becomes distinctly triangular and the current increases significantly. Using the R-IRM we explore the current increase and find that when the discharge is operated in the metal mode Ar+ and Ti+ -ions contribute most significantly (roughly equal amounts) to the discharge current while in the poisoned mode the Ar+ -ions contribute most significantly to the discharge current and the contribution of O+ -ions, Ti+ -ions, and secondary electron emission is much smaller. Furthermore, we find that recycling of atoms coming from the target, that are subsequently ionized, is required for the current generation in both modes of operation. From the R-IRM results it is found that in the metal mode self-sputter recycling dominates and in the poisoned mode working gas recycling dominates. We also show that working gas recycling can lead to very high discharge currents but never to a runaway. It is concluded that the dominating type of recycling determines the discharge current waveform. (paper)
[en] The effect of reactor dimension on deposition rate profiles is analyzed with a two-dimensional (2D) fluid simulation of a capacitively coupled plasma (CCP) reactor to deposit a hydrogenated silicon nitride (SiNx Hy) film with a SiH4/NH3/N2/He gas mixture. We focus on the complex function of electrode spacing to reveal the physical relation between reactor geometry and deposition rate profiles. The simulation demonstrates that the localization of electron density is concentrated close to the powered electrode periphery for electrode spacing of 9 mm. However, the plasma distribution becomes bulk dominated with electrode spacing of 15 mm by relaxing the localization. As a result, the increase in the electrode spacing creates a more uniform electron power density profile, and the deposition rate profile of SiNx Hy film changes from convex to concave in a radial direction. The change in the deposition rate profile is validated through comparison with the experimental observation, which agrees well with the simulation results with errors of less than 5%. The deposition rate profile with electrode spacing of 9 mm is very sensitive to the non-uniform gas density condition applied to the showerhead inlet. However, the deposition rate profile with electrode spacing of 15 mm is not sensitive to the inlet gas profile because of the increasing residence time. The increase of the electrode spacing promotes molecule–molecule gas phase reactions and consequently weakens the effect of the inlet boundary condition. (paper)
[en] An ionic or electric wind is a bulk air movement induced by electrohydrodynamic (EHD) phenomena in a gas discharge. Because they are silent, low power, respond rapidly, and require no moving parts, ionic wind devices have been proposed for a wide range of applications, ranging from convection cooling and food drying to combustion management. The past several decades have seen the area grow tremendously leading to a number of new actuation strategies and devices that can be incorporated into various applications. In this review, we discuss the physics of ionic winds and recent developments of the past five years that have pushed the field forward, focusing on the development on bulk air-moving devices we term EHD pumps. We then highlight the ongoing challenges with transitioning ionic wind technologies to the market place, from issues that affect robustness to practical implementation, and point to areas where future research could have an impact on the field. (topical review)
[en] Comprehensive non-invasive spectroscopic techniques and electrical measurements of the carbon arc revealed two distinguishable plasma synthesis regions in the radial direction normal to the arc axis. These regions, which are defined as the arc core and the arc periphery, are shown to have very different compositions of carbon species with different densities and temperatures. The colder arc periphery is dominated by carbon diatomic molecules (C2), which are in the minority in the composition of the hot arc core. These differences are due to a highly non-uniform distribution of the arc current, which is mainly conducted through the arc core populated with carbon atoms and ions. Therefore, the ablation of the graphite anode is governed by the arc core, while the formation of carbon molecules occurs in the colder arc periphery. This result is consistent with previous predictions that the plasma environment in the arc periphery is suitable for synthesis of carbon nanotubes. (paper)