Disparity between current and voltage driven capacitively coupled radio frequency discharges

Wilczek, S. and Trieschmann, J. and Schulze, J. and Donkó, Z. and Brinkmann, R.P. and Mussenbrock, T.

Volume: 27 Pages:
DOI: 10.1088/1361-6595/aae5c1
Published: 2018

In simulation as well as analytical modeling studies of low-pressure capacitively coupled radio frequency (CCRF) discharges, the assumption of both a driving voltage source or a driving current source is commonly used. It is unclear, however, how and to what extent the choice of the mode of driving, that prescribes either a sinusoidal discharge voltage or a sinusoidal discharge current, itself defines the discharge dynamics that results from these studies. To address this issue, 1d3v cylindrical particle-in-cell/Monte Carlo collisions simulations of asymmetric CCRF discharges are performed in the low pressure regime (p < 2 Pa). We study the nonlocal and nonlinear dynamics of these discharges on a nanosecond timescale. We find that the excitation of the plasma series resonance in the voltage driven case strongly enhances the nonlinear electron power dissipation. However, this resonance is suppressed when a current source is used, because the excitation of harmonics in the RF current is not allowed. Consequently, significant differences between both driving sources are observed in the plasma density as well as in the electron and the power coupling dynamics. We conclude that caution is advised in comparisons between simulations and experiments, as in the former the discharge dynamics is partly defined by the method of driving of the plasma source, while in the latter the addressed resonance phenomena are inherently present at low pressures, since experiments are typically voltage driven. © 2018 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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