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Pure Appl. Chem., 2008, Vol. 80, No. 9, pp. 1883-1892

Electron dynamics of low-pressure deposition plasma

Hirotsugu Yasuda, Loic Ledernez, Fethi Olcaytug and Gerald Urban

Laboratory for Sensors, Department of Microsystems Engineering, Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

Abstract: When the electric field in the dark gas phase reaches the threshold value, an electron avalanche (breakdown) occurs, which causes dissociation of organic molecules, excitation of chemically reactive molecular gas, and/or ionization of atomic gas, depending on the type of gas involved. The principles that govern these electron-impact reactions are collectively described by the term "electron dynamics". The electron-impact dissociation of organic molecules is the key factor for the deposition plasma. The implications of the interfacial avalanche of the primary electrons on the deposition plasma and also other plasma processes are discussed. The system dependency of low-pressure plasma deposition processes is an extremely important factor that should be reckoned, because the electron dynamic reactions are highly dependent on every aspect of the reaction system. The secondary electron emission from the cathode is a misinterpretation of the interfacial electron avalanche of the primary electrons described in this paper.