RF engineering

RF Matching Network Range

Step 1 - Connect an inline power meter, the Octiv Mono ( mono 1) to the output of a 50Ω load. We are going to measure the range with power applied so make sure the load can handle the power. The power meter is optional but it will be useful if you want to measure the Efficiency of the Network.

Matching Network Quality

The match unit or matching network is a key component in getting power from an RF power supply to a plasma. The output of the power supply has a typical impedance of 50 Ohm. To match this to a plasma or other dynamic load we need a matching network. The matching network plays two key roles i) it presents a reactive impedance equal and opposite to the load so that the reactive components cancel and ii) it matches the real resistance of the load to the 50 Ohms of the RF power supply.

Hot spots and flash points

Hot spots and flash points rf technology

We recently got a returned Octiv sensor with the connector melted and this reminded me of hotspots and flashpoints.

In the world of RF engineering transmissions lines are matched and current and voltage are uniform along the cable. In the plasma world transmission lines are used to carry power to the plasma. A matching network is used to match the power supply to the plasma but the connection, effectively a transmission line from the matching network to the plasma electrode is not matched. I am not an RF engineer but even a physicist knows that there is a reflected wave at the end of the unmatched transmission line.

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