Analysis of cathode geometry to minimize cathode erosion in direct current microplasma jet

Federica Causa, Francesco Ghezzi, David Dellasega, Roberto Caniello, Giovanni Grosso

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Microplasma jets are now widely used for deposition, etching, and materials processing. The present study focuses on the investigation of the influence of cathode geometry on deposition quality, for microplasma jet deposition systems in low vacuum. The interest here is understanding the influence of hydrogen on sputtering and/or evaporation of the electrodes. Samples obtained with two cathode geometries with tapered and rectangular cross-sections have been investigated experimentally by scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersion X-ray spectroscopy. Samples obtained with a tapered-geometry cathode present heavy contamination, demonstrating cathode erosion, while samples obtained with a rectangular-cross-section cathode are free from contamination. These experimental characteristics were explained by modelling results showing a larger radial component of the electric field at the cathode inner wall of the tapered cathode. As a result, ion acceleration is larger, explaining the observed cathode erosion in this case. Results from the present investigation also show that the ratio of radial to axial field components is larger for the rectangular geometry case, thus, qualitatively explaining the presence of micro-hollow cathode discharge over a wide range of currents observed in this case. In the light of the above findings, the rectangular cathode geometry is considered to be more effective to achieve cleaner deposition. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number123302
Pages (from-to)-
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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