Highly electronegative plasmas were produced in Ar/SF6 gas mixtures in a dc discharge with multipolar magnetic confinement and transversal magnetic filter. Langmuir probe and mass spectrometry were used for plasma diagnostics. Plasma potential drift, the influence of small or large area biased electrodes on plasma parameters, the formation of the negative ion sheath and etching rates by positive and negative ions have been investigated for different experimental conditions. When the electron temperature was reduced below 1 eV the density ratio of negative ion to electron exceeded 100 even for very low amounts of SF6 gas. The plasma potential drift could be controlled by proper wall conditioning. A large electrode biased positively had no effect on plasma potential for density ratios of negative ions to electrons larger than 50. For similar electronegativities or higher a negative ion sheath could be formed by applying a positive bias of a few hundred volts.
- Plasma processing
- Fusion energy