The self-excitation of plasma series resonance (PSR) oscillations is a prominent feature in the current of low pressure capacitive radio frequency discharges. This resonance leads to high frequency oscillations of the charge in the sheaths and enhances electron heating. Up to now, the phenomenon has only been observed in asymmetric discharges. There, the nonlinearity in the voltage balance, which is necessary for the self-excitation of resonance oscillations with frequencies above the applied frequencies, is caused predominantly by the quadratic contribution to the charge-voltage relation of the plasma sheaths. Using Particle In Cell/Monte Carlo collision simulations of single- and multi-frequency capacitive discharges and an equivalent circuit model, we demonstrate that other mechanisms, such as a cubic contribution to the charge-voltage relation of the plasma sheaths and the time dependent bulk electron plasma frequency, can cause the self-excitation of PSR oscillations, as well. These mechanisms have been neglected in previous models, but are important for the theoretical description of the current in symmetric or weakly asymmetric discharges.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics