Microwave discharges have been developed and applied to a number of applications ranging from electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) plasma and ion sources for semiconductor etching and deposition to plasma-assisted CVD sources for diamond film. This research is directed toward the improved understanding of electromagnetic coupling and heating processes that take place in these physically bounded, high-density microwave discharges. The approach will combine experimental data which is obtained from carefully constructed experiments, with the analogous data front theoretical/numerical models, which are formulated to match the actual experiment. It is expected that results from this research will not only be the improved understanding of the fundamentals of microwave coupling and heating in bounded high-densitv discharges, but will also be the improved design and process controllability of these plasma sources. Theoretical modeling will also be performed at a more detailed numerical simulation level. The modeling effort will develop numerical simulation models for the behavior of microwave plasma sources which are capable of understanding and predicting source outputs, non-linearity, hysteresis and multiple steady states. Such an understanding of the external circuit control and the energy coupling (i.e., electromagnetic field structure, coupling, and plasma heating) within the plasma source is key to understanding source stability, process controllability and further to microwave plasma source scaling and uniformity design issues in the future.

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Michigan State University
East Lansing
United States
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