Plasma ionization in low-pressure radio-frequency discharges - Part I: Optical measurements

Deborah O'Connell, Timo Gans, Albert Meige, Peter Awakowicz, Rod W. Boswell

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PLASMA SCIENCE 36(4, Part 1), volume 36, 1382–1383, AUG 2008


The electron dynamics in the low-pressure operation regime (< 5 Pa) of a neon capacitively coupled plasma is investigated using phase-resolved optical emission spectroscopy. Plasma ionization and sustainment mechanisms are governed by the expanding and contracting sheath and complex wave-particle interactions. Electrons are energized through the advancing and retreating electric field of the RF sheath. The associated interaction of energetic sheath electrons with thermal bulk plasma electrons drives a two-stream instability also dissipating power in the plasma.