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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A low-energy linear oxygen plasma source


A new version of a Constricted Plasma Source is described, characterized by all metal-ceramic construction, a linear slit exit of 180 mm length, and cw-operation (typically 50 kHz) at an average power of 1.5 kW. The plasma source is here operated with oxygen gas, producing streaming plasma that contains mainly positive molecular and atomic ions, and to a much lesser degree, negative ions. The maximum total ion current obtained was about 0.5 A. The fraction of atomic ions reached more than 10 percent of all ions when the flow rate was less then 10 sccm O2, corresponding to a chamber pressure of about 0.5 Pa for the selected pumping speed. The energy distribution functions of the different ion species were measured with a combined mass spectrometer and energy analyzer. The time-averaged distribution functions were broad and ranged from about 30eV to 90 eV at 200 kHz and higher frequencies, while they were only several eV broad at 50 kHz and lower frequencies, with the maximum located at about 40 eV for the grounded anode case. This maximum was shifted down to about 7 eV when the anode was floating, indicating the important role of the plasma potential for the ion energy for a given substrate potential. The source could be scaled to greater length and may be useful for functionalization of surfaces and plasma-assisted deposition of compound films.

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