Excitation frequency effects on atmospheric-pressure helium RF microplasmas: plasma density, electron energy and plasma impedance
Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Loughborough University, Leics., LE11 3TU, UK
Corresponding author: a email@example.com
Revised: 11 June 2010
Published online: 27 July 2010
The effects of the driving RF frequency on the properties of low temperature atmospheric pressure helium microplasmas are discussed in light of simulation results of a 500 μm microdischarge driven at constant input power with a 10 MHz–2.45 GHz voltage source. The electron density is found to be a non-monotonic function of the driving frequency and agrees with experimental observations made in different frequency bands with different devices. The physics underpinning this non-monotonic behaviour are investigated and the increasing penetration of the electric field as frequency increases is identified as a key factor. Additionally, the relationship between the plasma impedance and the mean plasma density is studied, and the validity and accuracy of equations commonly used to infer the plasma density from experimental impedance measurements discussed. While this method can provide quantitative estimations, the accuracy suffers when the discharge operates in the γ-mode or when the displacement current across the bulk plasma is not negligible.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2010