Departmental Seminar

Investigation of a magnetically enhanced inductively coupled negative ion plasma

Mr Stuart Nulty
Plasma Research Laboratory

Since the 1990s, motivations from the semiconductor industry have generated an increasingly strong demand for commercial plasma processing for applications such as etching, coating and doping of materials. The plasma process can catalyze reactions at lower temperatures which also creates a host of new chemical species which have industrial importance. The global plasma processing industry was recently valued at 20.8 billion US in 2016 with a growth trajectory set to reach as high as $48 billion US by 2025. Additionally, one of the major challenges for tokamak and stellarator plasma fusion reactors is the optimization of the neutral beam injection system (NBI) which is the primary method of heating the plasma to achieve sustained fusion. 

In this work, low temperature plasma experiments and numerical models were used to investigate an inductively coupled plasma source (ICPS) operating with a magnetic filter field. The work shows that applying magnetic filters transversely to the plasma can offer several new control parameters to help enhance the properties of a plasma source. The application of these new results using magnetic enhancement is discussed with respect to both industrial plasma fabrication processes and neutral beam injection for fusion power.


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