Electron energy distributions in inductively coupled plasma of argon

Shigeru Yonemura, Kenichi Nanbu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of gas pressure, electron density and coil current on the electron energy distribution functions (EEDFs) in inductively coupled discharges of argon are studied numerically. The EEDF for low gas pressure is close to the Maxwellian, whereas the EEDF for high has pressure is lower than the Maxwellian in the high energy tail due to inelastic collisions. Since the energy loss due to inelastic collisions is compensated by the energy deposition due to the induced electric field, the EEDF near the quartz wall becomes close to the Maxwellian. However, this EEDF is not the real Maxwellian because the velocity distribution of electrons near the wall is anisotropic in velocity space and hence in nonequilibrium. We proposed the factor ξ which represents the magnitude of the effects of Coulomb collisions. The factor is the radio of electron-electron collision frequency to electron-atom inelastic collision frequency. The effect of Coulomb collisions on the EEDF is negligibly small for ξ < 0.01. The distribution function for the azimuthal component of electron velocity varies significantly as the radial position changes, whereas the distribution functions for the other components do not vary so much.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7052-7060
Number of pages9
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics, Part 1: Regular Papers and Short Notes and Review Papers
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Argon plasma
  • Coulomb collision
  • Electron energy distribution
  • Inductively coupled plasma
  • Particle-in-cell/Monte Carlo method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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