Impact of Internal Faraday Shields on RF Driven Hydrogen Discharges
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At RF plasma reactors operated at high power, internal Faraday shields are required to shield dielectric vessel or windows from erosion due to isotropic heat and particle fluxes. By utilizing a flexible and diagnostically well-equipped laboratory setup, crucial effects that accompany the application
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At RF plasma reactors operated at high power, internal Faraday shields are required to shield dielectric vessel or windows from erosion due to isotropic heat and particle fluxes. By utilizing a flexible and diagnostically well-equipped laboratory setup, crucial effects that accompany the application of internal Faraday shields at low-pressure hydrogen (and deuterium) RF discharges are identified and quantified in this contribution. Both an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) utilizing a helical coil and a low-field helicon discharge applying a Nagoya-type III antenna at magnetic fields of up to 12 mT are investigated. Discharges are driven at 4 MHz and in the pressure range between 0.3 and 10 Pa while the impact of the Faraday shields on both the RF power transfer efficiency and spectroscopically determined bulk plasma parameters (electron density and temperature, atomic density) is investigated. Three main effects are identified and discussed: (i) due to the Faraday shield, the measured RF power transfer efficiency is globally reduced. This is mainly caused by increased power losses due to induced eddy currents within the electrostatic shield, as accompanying numerical simulations by a self-consistent fluid model demonstrate. (ii) The Faraday shield reduces the atomic hydrogen density in the plasma by one order of magnitude, as the recombination rate of atoms on the metallic (copper) surfaces of the shield is considerably higher compared to the dielectric quartz walls. (iii) The Faraday shield suppresses the transition of the low-field helicon setup to a wave heated regime at the present conditions. This is attributed to a change of boundary conditions for wave propagation, as the plasma is in direct contact with the conductive surfaces of the Faraday shield rather than being operated in a laterally fully dielectric vessel.