A theoretical study is conducted on the sustaining of low-pressure electron-cyclotron-resonance (ECR) plasmas for which ionization is provided by high-energy electrons trapped by a multipolar permanent-magnet system. A particle simulation is carried out for the electron motion in magnetic systems of different configurations on assumptions suggested by previous experimental results. On this basis, the high-energy tail of the electron energy distribution function is examined. The escape of high-energy electrons (including that to the walls) is identified as the major factor behind the loss of electrons in the limit of a collisionless plasma. A comparative evaluation of different multipolar magnetic systems is made. Basic requirements are set out concerning the optimal design of ECR plasma reactors. New approaches to ECR electron heating are proposed.
Russian Microelectronics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 27, 2005
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