Process diagnostics and monitoring using the multipole resonance probe in an inhomogeneous plasma for ion-assisted deposition of optical coatings

Tim Styrnoll, J Harhausen, Martin Lapke, Robert Storch, Ralf Peter Brinkmann, R Foest, A Ohl, Peter Awakowicz

PLASMA SOURCES SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, Volume: 22, Issue: 4, Article Number: 045008, DOI: 10.1088/0963-0252/22/4/045008, Published: AUG 2013


The application of a multipole resonance probe (MRP) for diagnostic and monitoring purposes in a plasma ion-assisted deposition (PIAD) process is reported. Recently, the MRP was proposed as an economical and industry compatible plasma diagnostic device (Lapke et al 2011 Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. 20 042001). The major advantages of the MRP are its robustness against dielectric coating and its high sensitivity to measure the electron density. The PIAD process investigated is driven by the advanced plasma source (APS), which generates an ion beam in the deposition chamber for the production of high performance optical coatings. With a background neutral pressure of p(0) similar to 20 mPa the plasma expands from the source region into the recipient, leading to an inhomogeneous spatial distribution. Electron density and electron temperature vary over the distance from substrate (n(e) similar to 10(9) cm(-3) and T-e,T-eff similar to 2 eV) to the APS (n(e) greater than or similar to 10(12) cm(-3) and T-e,T-eff similar to 20 eV) (Harhausen et al 2012 Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. 21 035012). This huge variation of the plasma parameters represents a big challenge for plasma diagnostics to operate precisely for all plasma conditions. The results obtained by the MRP are compared to those from a Langmuir probe chosen as reference diagnostics. It is demonstrated that the MRP is suited for the characterization of the PIAD plasma as well as for electron density monitoring. The latter aspect offers the possibility to develop new control schemes for complex industrial plasma environments.

Tags: plasma