Transition of electron heating mode in a planar microwave discharge at low pressures

Sugai, H.; Ghanashev, I.; Mizuno, K.
November 2000
Applied Physics Letters;11/27/2000, Vol. 77 Issue 22
Academic Journal
Spatial distributions of electron density n[sub e], electron temperature T[sub e], and wave field intensity in a planar microwave discharge at low pressures (10-100 mTorr) are measured with the discharge power as a parameter. Two different modes of electron heating are found: a bulk heating mode characterized with high T[sub e](∼10 eV) in underdense plasma, and a surface heating mode with low T[sub e](∼3 eV) in overdense plasma with a hot layer near the plasma-dielectric boundary. Abrupt transition between the two modes takes place near the cutoff density n[sub c] where the electron plasma frequency coincides with the discharge frequency (2.45 GHz). In the underdense case (n[sub e]n[sub c]), the evanescent wave (surface wave) near the microwave window strongly heats the electrons in the boundary layer, which are transported to the bulk region and ionize the neutral particles to therein produce relatively cold electrons. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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