Experimental study and modeling of the electron-attracting sheath: The influence of secondary electron emission

Schiesko, L.; Carrère, M.; Cartry, G.; Layet, J.-M.
July 2008
Physics of Plasmas;Jul2008, Vol. 15 Issue 7, p073507
Academic Journal
A copper sample facing an energy-resolved mass spectrometer is biased positively beyond plasma potential in low-pressure argon plasma. Some ions are created in the sheath by electrons extracted from plasma and accelerated toward the mass spectrometer where they are detected according to their energy. Ion energy is related to local electrical sheath potential at which the ion has been created. Therefore, the Ion Distribution Function (IDF) allows us to probe in a nonperturbative way electron-attracting sheath potential. We observe a strong decrease of ion signal a few volts before sample bias. We attribute this effect to the presence of secondary electrons shielding positive sample potential. Potential profile and IDFs are computed using a model including secondary emission. The fit of IDFs provides an estimation of secondary emission yield and secondary electron temperature.


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