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Reducing the Transition Hysteresis of Inductive Plasmas by a Microwave Ignition Aid

Light Technology Institute, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Engesserstr. 13, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
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Plasma 2019, 2(3), 341-347; https://doi.org/10.3390/plasma2030026
Received: 25 June 2019 / Revised: 7 August 2019 / Accepted: 9 August 2019 / Published: 16 August 2019
Inductive plasma discharge has been a part of continuous investigations since it was discovered. Especially the E- to H-mode transition and the hysteresis behavior have been topics of research in the last few decades. In this paper, we demonstrate a way to reduce the hysteresis behavior by the usage of a microwave ignition system. With this system, a significant decrease of the needed coil current for the ignition of the inductive driven plasma is realized. For the microwave generation, a magnetron as in a conventional microwave oven is used, which offers a relatively inexpensive way for microwave ignition aid. At the measured pressure of 7.5 Pa, it was possible to reduce the needed coil current for the inductive mode transition by a factor of 3.75 compared to the mode transition current without the ignition aid. This was achieved by initiating the transition by a few seconds of microwave coupling. The performed simulations suggested that the factor can be further increased at higher pressures. That is especially interesting for plasmas that are hard to ignite or for RF-sources that cannot deliver high enough currents or frequencies for the ignition. View Full-Text
Keywords: inductive plasma; ICP; mode transition; plasma ignition; microwave; ignition aid inductive plasma; ICP; mode transition; plasma ignition; microwave; ignition aid
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Gehring, T.; Jin, Q.; Denk, F.; Eizaguirre, S.; Karcher, D.; Kling, R. Reducing the Transition Hysteresis of Inductive Plasmas by a Microwave Ignition Aid. Plasma 2019, 2, 341-347.

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