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Ion Dynamics in a Single and Dual Radio Frequency Sheath Measured by Laser-Induced Fluorescence


Ion dynamics are investigated in a single and dual radio frequency sheath as a function of radius above a 30 cm diameter biased silicon wafer for the first time in an industrial inductively coupled (440 kHz, 500 W) plasma etch tool. Ion velocity distribution (IVD) function measurements in the argon plasma are taken using laser induced fluorescence (LIF). Planar sheets of laser light enter the chamber both parallel and perpendicular to the surface of the wafer in order to measure both parallel and perpendicular IVDs at thousands of spatial positions. A fast (30 ns exposure) CCD camera measures the resulting fluorescence with a spatial resolution of 0.4 mm. The dual-frequency bias on the wafer is comprised of a 2 MHz low frequency (LF) bias and a 19 MHz high frequency (HF) bias. The laser is phase locked to the LF bias and IVD measurements are taken at several different LF phases. Ion energy distribution (IED) function measurements and calculated moments are compared for several cases. For the LF case (no HF), the IEDs were found to be highly phase dependent and were varied radially up to 10%. Calculated mean velocity vectors showed large impact angles near the surface of the wafer with the largest angles observed near the wafer edge. The LF experimental results are compared with simulations designed specifically for this particular plasma tool and showed good qualitative agreement. For the dual frequency case, IEDs were measured at two disparate phases of the phase-locked LF bias. IEDs were found to be multi-peaked and were well-approximated by a sum of Maxwellian distributions. The calculated fluxes in the dual frequency case were found to be substantially more radially uniform than the single frequency bias case. For industrial applications, this radially uniform ion flux is evidently a trade off with the undesirable multi-peaked structure in the IEDs.

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