The Planar Multipole Resonance Probe: A Minimally Invasive Monitoring Concept for Plasma-Assisted Dielectric Deposition Processes

Dennis Pohle, Christian Schulz, Moritz Oberberg, Peter Awakowicz, Ilona Rolfes

IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, DOI: 10.1109/TMTT.2020.2974835, April 2020


In this article, a novel minimally invasive approach to plasma monitoring in the challenging environment of dielectric deposition processes based on the planar multipole resonance probe (pMRP) is presented. By placing the sensor on the plasma-remote side of a dielectric substrate to be coated, perturbations of the process due to its presence can be significantly reduced. Since the electric field of the sensor is able to penetrate dielectric layers, a plasma supervision through the substrate is enabled. To investigate the effect of increasing coating thicknesses on the measurement performance for a broad spectrum of materials and plasma conditions, the results of extensive 3-D full-wave simulations performed with CST Microwave Studio are evaluated. Finally, real-time monitoring results of an argon-oxygen plasma during a sputter deposition with aluminum oxide on a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film substrate together with a comparison to external process parameters are presented. The results demonstrate both the applicability of the proposed concept and its insensitivity to additional dielectric coatings.

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