Phase modulation in pulsed dual-frequency capacitively coupled plasmas
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
New York, N.Y. :American Institute of Physics
Journal of applied physics / American Institute of Physics. - New York, N.Y., 1937, currens
, 9 p.
University of Antwerp
Particle-in-cell/Monte Carlo collision simulations, coupled with an external circuit, are used to investigate the behavior of pulsed dual-frequency (DF) capacitively coupled plasmas (CCPs). It is found that the phase shift θ between the high (or low) frequency source and the pulse modulation has a great influence on the ion density and the ionization rate. By pulsing the high frequency source, the time-averaged ion density shows a maximum when θ = 90∘. The time-averaged ion energy distribution functions (IEDFs) at the driven electrode, however, keep almost unchanged, illustrating the potential of pulsed DF-CCP for independent control of ion density (and flux) and ion energy. A detailed investigation of the temporal evolution of the plasma characteristics indicates that several high frequency harmonics can be excited at the initial stage of a pulse period by tuning the phase shift θ, and this gives rise to strong sheath oscillations, and therefore high ionization rates. For comparison, the pulsing of the low frequency source is also studied. In this case, the ion density changes slightly as a function of time, and the time-averaged ion density shows the same trend as in the HF modulation for different phase shifts θ. Moreover, the time-averaged IEDFs at the driven electrode can be modulated, showing the potential to reduce the maximum ion bombardment energy.