Self-consistent particle-in-cell/Monte Carlo simulation of RF magnetron discharges of oxygen/argon mixture: Effects of partial pressure ratio

Shigeru Yonemura, Kenichi Nanbu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The characteristics of RF planar magnetron discharges of O2/Ar mixture are clarified using the particle-in-cell/Monte Carlo method. The simulation is carried out for axisymmetrical magnetic fields. The spatial and temporal behavior of magnetron discharge is examined in detail. The O - ions are trapped in the plasma bulk by the time-averaged potential. The O- density is governed by a balance of generation and loss of O-. The positive ions Ar+, O2+, and O+ are distributed in such a way that the charge neutrality is kept in the plasma bulk. Since the peak point of O- density does not coincide with that of electron density, the spatial distributions of Ar +, O2+, and O+ have two peaks. The number densities of Ar+ and O- ions drastically increase when oxygen is added to the discharge gas Ar, and then saturated. In the case when the mole fraction of oxygen increases, the self-bias voltage on the target decreases. This phenomenon is investigated in detail and a clear physical explanation is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-487
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Volume31
Issue number4 II
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Aug 1

Keywords

  • Magnetron discharge
  • Oxygen/argon mixture
  • Particle-in-cell/Monte Carlo (PIC/MC) simulation
  • Radio frequency (RF)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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