Localized heating of electrons in ionization zones: Going beyond the Penning-Thornton paradigm in magnetron sputtering
The fundamental question of how energy is supplied to a magnetron discharge is commonly answered by the Penning-Thornton paradigm invoking secondary electrons. Huo et al. (Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. 22, 045005, (2013)) used a global discharge model to show that electron heating in the electric field of the magnetic presheath is dominant. In this contribution, this concept is applied locally taking into account the electric potential structure of ionization zones. Images of ionization zones can and should be interpreted as diagrams of the localization of electric potential and related electron energy, where certain collisions promote or dampen their formation.