A planar inductively coupled radio-frequency (rf) magnetic neutral loop discharge has been designed. It provides diagnostic access to both the main plasma production region as well as a remote plane for applications. Three coaxial coils are arranged to generate a specially designed inhomogeneous magnetic field structure with vanishing field along a ring in the discharge-the so-called neutral loop (NL). The plasma is generated by applying an oscillating rf electric field along the NL, induced through a four-turn, planar antenna operated at 13.56 MHz. Electron density and temperature measurements are performed under various parameter variations. Collisionless electron heating in the NL region allows plasma operation at comparatively low pressures, down to 10(-2) Pa, with a degree of ionization in the order of several per cent. Conventional plasma operation in inductive mode without applying the magnetic field is less efficient, in particular in the low pressure regime where the plasma cannot be sustained without magnetic fields.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)