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Rev Sci Instrum. 2018 Mar;89(3):033506. doi: 10.1063/1.5019970.

Novel high-frequency energy-efficient pulsed-dc generator for capacitively coupled plasma discharge.

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Graduate School of Engineering, Kochi University of Technology, Kami, Kochi 782-8502, Japan.


The circuit design, assembly, and operating tests of a high-frequency and high-voltage (HV) pulsed dc generator (PDG) for capacitively coupled plasma (CCP) discharge inside a vacuum chamber are reported. For capacitive loads, it is challenging to obtain sharp rectangular pulses with fast rising and falling edges, requiring intense current for quick charging and discharging. The requirement of intense current generally limits the pulse operation frequency. In this study, we present a new type of PDG consisting of a pair of half-resonant converters and a constant current-controller circuit connected with HV solid-state power switches that can deliver almost rectangular high voltage pulses with fast rising and falling edges for CCP discharge. A prototype of the PDG is assembled to modulate from a high-voltage direct current (HVdc) input into a pulsed HVdc output, while following an input pulse signal and a set current level. The pulse rise time and fall time are less than 500 ns and 800 ns, respectively, and the minimum pulse width is 1 ┬Ás. The maximum voltage for a negative pulse is 1000 V, and the maximum repetition frequency is 500 kHz. During the pulse on time, the plasma discharge current is controlled steadily at the set value. The half-resonant converters in the PDG perform recovery of the remaining energy from the capacitive load at every termination of pulse discharge. The PDG performed with a high energy efficiency of 85% from the HVdc input to the pulsed dc output at a repetition rate of 1 kHz and with stable plasma operation in various discharge conditions. The results suggest that the developed PDG can be considered to be more efficient for plasma processing by CCP.


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