We numerically predicted the spatial distribution of Ar metastables in an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) source; this distribution may be an indicator of the behavior of long-lived neutral radicals in a reactive plasma. We investigated the effect of metastables on the sustaining mechanism in ICP in Ar. The predicted two-dimensional profile of Ar metastables agreed reasonably well with experimental results. The transition of the sustaining mechanism from direct ionization to stepwise ionization is found as a function of input power at 50 mTorr. In addition, a strong hysteresis of plasma density is predicted between the increasing and decreasing phases of the input power based on the stepwise ionization of Ar metastables in the ICP.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)