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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ion acceleration and cooling in gasless self-sputtering

  • Author(s): Horwat, David
  • et al.

Copper plasma with hyperthermal directed velocity (8.8 eV) but very low temperature (0.6 eV) has been obtained using self-sputtering far above the runaway threshold. Ion energy distribution functions (IEDFs) were simultaneously measured at 34 locations. The IEDFs show the tail of the Thompson distribution near the magnetron target. They transform to shifted Maxwellians with the ions being accelerated and cooled. We deduce the existence of a highly asymmetric, pressure-driven potential hump which acts as a controlling "watershed" between the ion return flux and the expanding plasma.

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