Glossary of surface technology

Plasma excitation

When the atoms of a gas are excited so heavily that electrons are broken off the atomic bond so that ions are generated, a plasma will form. Excitation can take place in the form of:

Excitation by extreme temperatures

Plasma excitation process in the stars. 99% of the matter in the universe consists of plasma.

Plasma Generation

When atoms and molecules of a gas are stimulated in such an extent that electrons are torn out from the electron shell, so that positive ions and free electrons result, a plasma is generated.

This stimulation can be caused by the following effects:

Very High Temperature

The process which is responsible for the biggest quantities of plasma in the universe:

The plasma of the stars.

99% of matter in the universe is plasma.

High-frequency excitation

A plasma can also be excited by high-frequency electric fields. The higher the excitation frequency and the lower the gas pressure, the easier the excitation of the plasma, and the less energy is required. In low-pressure plasma technology, the plasma is excited by electromagnetic high-frequency fields. The following special feature is found here:
  1. In the evacuated plasma chamber (vacuum chamber), a plasma can be excited in almost any gaseous substance.
  2. The plasma excited by high frequency is cold

In plasma technology, the excitation is carried out by the approved ISM frequencies 40 kHz13.56 MHz or2.45 GHz.

High Frequency Plasma Generation:

High frequency electric fields can generate a plasma as well.
The higher the frquency and the lower the gas pressure, the lower is the energy required for plasma generation. Therefore it is much easier to generate a plasma in low pressure conditions.

Specifics of low pressure plasma generated by High Frequency (HF)- electric fields:

  • Almost any gaseous substance can be used for process gas
  • Plasma generated by HF-fields is low temperature plasma

In industrial plasma technology official ISM-frequencies are used for generation:40 kHz, 13,56 MHz, 27,12 MHz, 3,45 GHz

Gas discharge

Gas discharge takes place under hight voltage in strong electric fields. Plasma excited by gas discharge is found:

Gas discharge

Gas discharge is generated by strong electric fields caused by high voltage.

Plasma generated by gas discharge is found

  • In flashes
  • in gas-discharge lamps (neon tubes)
  • in an electric arc:
  • in an atmospheric plasma (PlasmaBeam)

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