Diagnostic studies of species concentrations in a capacitively coupled RF plasma containing CH4-H2-Ar

V. Schulz-von Der Gathen, J. Röpcke, Timo Gans, M. Käning, C. Lucas, H.F. Döbele

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Three plasma diagnostic methods, tunable infrared diode laser absorption spectroscopy, optical emission spectroscopy and microwave interferometry have been used to monitor concentrations of transient and stable molecules, CH3, CH4, C2H2, C2H6, and of electrons in capacitively coupled CH4-H-2-Ar radiofrequency (RF) plasmas (f(RF) = 13.56 MHz, p = 100 Pa, phi (total)= 66 sccm) for various discharge power values (P = 10-100 W) and gas mixtures. The degree of dissociation of the methane precursor varied between 3% and 60%. The methyl radical concentration was found to be in the order of 10(12) molecules cm(-3) and the electron concentration in the order of loll cm(-3). The methyl radical concentration and the concentrations of the stable C-2 hydrocarbons, C2H2 and C2H6, produced in the plasma, increased with discharge power. The fragmentation rates of the methane precursor and conversion rates to the measured C-2 hydrocarbons were estimated in dependence on discharge power. Radial distributions of the electron and methyl radical concentrations, and of the gas temperature were measured for the first time simultaneously in the plasma region between the discharge electrodes. The measurements allow us to draw qualitative conclusions on the main chemical processes and the plasma chemical reaction paths.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-539
Number of pages10
JournalPlasma Sources Science and Technology
Volume10 (3)
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2001

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