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

  • US 8,125,155 B2
  • Filed: 08/27/2010
  • Issued: 02/28/2012
  • Est. Priority Date: 02/22/2004
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
First Claim
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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 voltage pulse having at least one of a controlled amplitude and a controlled rise time that increases an ionization rate of sputtered material atoms so that a rapid increase in electron density and a formation of a strongly-ionized plasma occurs without forming an arc between the anode and the cathode assembly.

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