Ion Angular Distributions Measured with a Planar Retarding Field Analyser

Below is an abstract of Shailesh Sharma’s upcoming talk at AVS 61 in Baltimore, Maryland. He will be speaking about Ion Angular Distributions Measured with a Planar Retarding Field Analyser on Wednesday at 4.20pm. This talk will highlight advances in RFA technology, one of the most important fields of plasma diagnostics.

Ion Angular Distributions Measured with a Planar Retarding Field Analyzer

Shailesh Sharma


Planar retarding field analyzers are commonly used to measure ion energy distributions but provide no information about the angular distribution of ions bombarding the substrate surface. Here, we report on a novel planar retarding field analyser design capable of resolving the angular distribution of the energetic ions. The design has three active grids, a collector plate and an aperture with variable aspect ratio (height / diameter) to control the angular spread of the ions allowed through the device for detection. First, the potential of the ion energy discriminating grid is modulated to select ions with a specified energy resolution for analysis. Then, the aspect ratio of the aperture is varied from large acceptance angle to narrow acceptance angle with specified angle resolution - predetermined from the aperture geometry. The ion current is recorded for each acceptance angle to give an integral form of the ion angular distribution at a given ion energy where the angular distribution can be recovered by taking a first derivative. The procedure is then repeated for each ion energy. Once the angular distribution is determined as a function of ion energy, the energy distribution as a function of ion angle is easily calculated.

The analytical theory used to define ion current as a function of incident ion angle, ion energy and aperture aspect ratio is presented. The method used to vary the aspect ratio of the additional aperture is also discussed. This novel method allows ion angular distributions to be determined using a compact planar retarding field analyser. With the modified retarding field analyzer design and advanced analytical technique, ion angular distributions with angle resolution as low as 3 degrees have been measured. This technique adds important functionality to the retarding field analyser technology - which has become one of the most important technologies in the field of plasma diagnostics in recent years.