Reproducible modulations in low-pressure, inductively coupled discharges operating in chlorine and argon-chlorine mixtures have been observed and studied. Changes in the light output, floating potential, negative ion fraction, and charged particle densities were observed. Here we report two types of unstable operational modes in an inductively coupled discharge. On the one hand, when the discharge was matched, to minimize reflected power, instabilities were observed in argon-chlorine plasmas over limited operating conditions of input power and gas pressure. The instability window decreased with increasing chlorine content and was observed for chlorine concentrations between 30% and 60% only. However, when operating at pressures below 5 mTorr and the discharge circuit detuned to increase the reflected power, modulations were observed in a pure chlorine discharge. These modulations varied in nature from a series of sharp bursts to a very periodic behavior and can be controlled, by variation of the matching conditions, to produce an apparent pulsed plasma environment. (C) 2005 American Institute of Physics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)