Diagnostics and two-dimensional simulation of low-frequency inductively coupled plasmas with neutral gas heating and electron heat flares
Denysenko, I B
Tsakadze, E L
Storer, Robin George
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This article presents the results on the diagnostics and numerical modeling of low-frequency (∼460 KHz) inductively coupled plasmas generated in a cylindrical metal chamber by an external flat spiral coil. Experimental data on the electron number densities and temperatures, electron energy distribution functions, and optical emission intensities of the abundant plasma species in low/intermediate pressure argon discharges are included. The spatial profiles of the plasma density, electron temperature, and excited argon species are computed, for different rf powers and working gas pressures, using the two-dimensional fluid approach. The model allows one to achieve a reasonable agreement between the computed and experimental data. The effect of the neutral gas temperature on the plasma parameters is also investigated. It is shown that neutral gas heating (at rf powers⩾0.55 kW) is one of the key factors that control the electron number density and temperature. The dependence of the average rf power loss, per electron–ion pair created, on the working gas pressure shows that the electron heat flux to the walls appears to be a critical factor in the total power loss in the discharge.