Methods and apparatus for generating strongly-ionized plasmas with ionizational instabilities

CAFC
  • US 7,095,179 B2
  • Filed: 02/22/2004
  • Issued: 08/22/2006
  • Est. Priority Date: 02/22/2004
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
Patent Images

1. A strongly-ionized plasma generator comprising:

  • a) a chamber for confining a feed gas;

    b) an anode that is positioned inside the chamber;

    c) a cathode assembly that is positioned adjacent to the anode inside the chamber; and

    d) a pulsed power supply having an output that is electrically connected between the anode and the cathode assembly, the pulsed power supply generating at the output a multi-stage voltage pulse having at least one of a controlled amplitude and a controlled rise time that prevents forming an arc between the anode and the cathode assembly, the multi-stage voltage pulse comprising;

    a low-power stage including a first peak voltage having a magnitude and a rise time that is sufficient to generate a weakly-ionized plasma from the feed gas; and

    a transient stage including a second peak voltage having a magnitude and a rise time that is sufficient to shift an electron energy distribution in the weakly-ionized plasma to higher energies that increase an ionization rate which results in a rapid increase in electron density and a formation of a strongly-ionized plasma.

View all claims
    ×
    ×

    Thank you for your feedback

    ×
    ×