Journal article

Reconstruction of the Time-Averaged Sheath Potential Profile in an Argon Radiofrequency Plasma Using the Ion Energy-Distribution

Charge-exchange collisions and radio frequency (RF) excitation combine to give peaks in the ion energy distribution measured at the ground electrode of an argon plasma in a capacitive reactor. These peaks are used as a diagnostic to reconstruct the profile of the time-averaged potential in the sheath. Particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations show that the method is accurate. The method is applied to investigate the sheath thickness as a function of excitation frequency at constant plasma power. The time-averaged potential is found to be parabolic in both experimental measurements and numerical simulations.


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