The precise and high-speed alteration of various gas species is important for realizing precise and well-controlled multiprocesses in a single plasma process chamber with high throughput. The gas replacement times in the replacement of N2 by Ar and that of H2 by Ar are measured in a microwave excited high-density and low electron-temperature plasma process chamber at various working pressures and gas flow rates, incorporating a new gas flow control system, which can avoid overshoot of the gas pressure in the chamber immediately after the valve operation, and a gradational lead screw booster pump, which can maintain excellent pumping capability for various gas species including lightweight gases such as H2 in a wide pressure region from 10-1 to 104 Pa. Furthermore, to control the gas flow pattern in the chamber, upper ceramic shower plates, which have thousands of very fine gas injection holes (numbers of 1200 and 2400) formed with optimized allocation on the plates, are adopted, while the conventional gas supply method in the microwave-excited plasma chamber uses many holes only opened at the sidewall of the chamber (gas ring). It has been confirmed that, in the replacement of N2 by Ar, a short replacement time of approximately 1 s in the cases of 133 and 13.3 Pa and approximately 3 s in the case of 4 Pa can be achieved when the upper shower plate has 2400 holes, while a replacement time longer than approximately 10 s is required for all pressure cases where the gas ring is used. In addition, thanks to the excellent pumping capability of the gradational lead screw booster pump for lightweight gases, it has also been confirmed that the replacement time of H2 by Ar is almost the same as that of N2 by Ar.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)