What plasma equipment is needed for cleaning or etching?

Plasma equipment is used to create a reactive plasma in a vacuum chamber. In order to generate plasma, a vacuum is required. Once the vacuum is in place, generally inside of an aluminum chamber, an RF signal is applied to excite the ions and create the plasma. In order to create plasma, the following equipment is necessary:

Vacuum chamber

In order to reduce the pressure below 200 mTorr, a vacuum pump must be attached to the vacuum chamber to continuously evacuate the chamber and maintain a vacuum as gas is introduced to the chamber.

Vacuum pump

A vacuum pump is required to maintain the vacuum in the vacuum chamber. The pump is generally connected to the chamber with a specialized hose or stainless steel piping. The pump may be controlled manually or automatically by the machine by either a relay or pass-through plug on the machine. All of our standard systems feature automatic vacuum pump control.

Radio Frequency (RF) source

An RF source is applied to the chamber to excite the ions and create plasma. The RF is most commonly introduced at either 13.56 Mhz, or 50 Khz.

13.56 Mhz, or high frequency, requires additional electronics and is generally used for etching applications. 50 Khz is referred to as "low frequency" and is used for cleaning and surface modification.

Input gas

An input gas, or a mixture of input gases, is introduced to the chamber before the RF power is supplied. The ions in the gas create the plasma and the gas is evacuated through the vacuum pump.

Electrical requirements

Our PE-200 and larger systems require 220v power at 15 amps or higher. Smaller plasma systems can be configured to run on either 110v or 220v AC power.

Plasma Equipment Infographic

Next: Plasma Applications