Probe measurements of plasma potential nonuniformity due to edge asymmetry in large-area radio-frequency reactors: The telegraph effect
In large-area radio-frequency (rf) capacitive reactors, the redistribution of rf current to maintain current continuity near asymmetric sidewalls causes a perturbation in rf plasma potential to propagate along the resistive plasma between capacitive sheaths. The damping length of the perturbation can be determined by a telegraph equation. Experiments are described using a surface array of unbiased electrostatic probes in the ground electrode to verify the theoretical model of the telegraph effect in Howling [J. Appl. Phys. 96, 5429 (2004)]. The measured spatial dependence of the plasma potential rf amplitude and circulating nonambipolar current agree well with two-dimensional numerical solutions of the telegraph equation. The rf plasma potential can be made uniform by using symmetric reactor sidewalls. (c) 2005 American Institute of Physics.