Evolution of the electron energy distribution and plasma parameters in a pulsed magnetron discharge

Gudmundsson, J. T.; Alami, J.; Helmersson, U.
May 2001
Applied Physics Letters;5/28/2001, Vol. 78 Issue 22, p3427
Academic Journal
We demonstrate the creation of high-density plasma in a pulsed magnetron discharge. A 2.4 MW pulse, 100 μs wide, with a repetition frequency of 50 Hz is applied to a planar magnetron discharge to study the temporal behavior of the plasma parameters: the electron energy distribution function, the electron density, and the average electron energy. The electron density in the vicinity of the substrate, 20 cm below the cathode target, peaks at 8x10[sup 17] m[sup -3], 127 μs after initiating the pulse. Towards the end of the pulse two energy groups of electrons are present with a corresponding peak in average electron energy. With the disapperance of the high-energy electron group, the electron density peaks, and the electron energy distribution appears to be Maxwellian like. Following the electron density peak, the plasma becomes more Druyvesteyn like with a higher average electron energy. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.


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