The electrical asymmetry effect (EAE) in geometrically symmetric capacitively coupled radio frequency discharges operated at multiple consecutive harmonics is investigated by a particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation and an analytical model. The model is based on the original EAE model, which is extended by taking into account the floating potentials, the voltage drop across the plasma bulk, and the symmetry parameter resulting from the PIC simulation. Compared with electrically asymmetric dual-frequency discharges we find that (i) a significantly stronger dc self-bias can be generated electrically and that (ii) the mean ion energies at the electrodes can be controlled separately from the ion flux over a broader range by tuning the phase shifts between the individual voltage harmonics. A recipe for the optimization of the applied voltage waveform to generate the strongest possible dc self-bias electrically and to obtain maximum control of the ion energy via the EAE is presented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics