A thorough understanding of the energy transfer mechanism from the electric field to electrons is of utmost importance for optimisation and control of different plasma sources and processes. This mechanism, called electron power absorption, involves complex electron dynamics in electronegative capacitively coupled plasmas (CCPs) at low pressures, that are still not fully understood. Therefore, we present a spatio-temporally resolved analysis of electron power absorption in low pressure oxygen CCPs based on the momentum balance equation derived from the Boltzmann equation. Data are obtained from 1d3v particle-in-cell/Monte Carlo Collision simulations. In contrast to conventional theoretical models, which predict 'stochastic/collisionless heating' to be important at low pressure, we observe the dominance of Ohmic power absorption. In addition, there is an attenuation of ambipolar power absorption at low pressures due to the strong electronegativity, and the presence of electropositive edge regions in the discharge, which cause a high degree of temporal symmetry of the electron temperature within the RF period.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics