Advances in Novel Plasma Devices Based on the Plasma Lens
ABSTRACT We review some new results in the development of novel cylindrical plasma devices based on the electrostatic plasma lens configuration and the concepts of electron magnetic insulation and magnetic field line equipotentialization. The plasma lens configuration of crossed electric and magnetic fields provides an attractive method for establishing a stable plasma discharge at low pressure. Use of the plasma lens configuration in this way has been explored, and a number of easily maintained low-cost plasma devices for ion treatment and deposition of exotic coatings have been developed. These devices make use of permanent magnets and possess considerable flexibility with respect to spatial configuration. They can be operated as a stand-alone tool for ion treatment of substrates, or as part of an integrated processing system together with cylindrical magnetron sputtering, for coating and deposition. Here, we describe the operation and features of some cylindrical plasma devices based on the plasma lens configuration, the results of theoretical investigations of the plasma discharge characteristics, and experimental investigations of the physical mechanisms determining optimal operating conditions for these devices.