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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA • LOS ANGELES Langmuir probe analysis for high density plasmas

By  and Francis F. Chen and Francis F. Chen


High-density, radiofrequency plasmas used in semiconductor proc-essing have progressed to densities n ≥ 5 × 10 11 cm-3, where the methods used to interpret Langmuir probe characteristics in low-density (10 9-11 cm-3) plasma reactors are no longer valid. Though theory and computations for arbitrarily dense collisionless plasmas exist, they are difficult to apply in real time. A new parametrization and iteration scheme is given which permits rapid analy-sis of Langmuir probe data using these theories. However, at high n, measured ion saturation curves are shown which do not agree in shape with the “correct ” theory, yielding anomalously high values of n. The discrepancy with independent measures of n, which can exceed a factor of two, is believed to be caused by charge-exchange collisions well outside the sheath. Probe designs for avoiding this discrepancy are suggested. I. Background A majority of the critical steps in the fabrication of a computer chip now involv

Year: 2000
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