With Covid-19 Meaglow has enhanced it’s in-house testing equipment, allowing us to now test our plasma sources to lower pressures than we were previously able to do. Our large area sources had been tested down to about 50 mTorr prior to this, but before our fifth large area hollow cathode source of the year went out to the customer, we were able to do some more testing. After the cathode was conditioned by running a nitrogen plasma at about a 1 Torr for an hour, we checked to see how low we could go and still strike a plasma. With the new setup, we were able to strike a nitrogen plasma at 5 mTorr with only 10 watts of RF power.
We now need more equipment to test even lower but for now the range of this 4″ diameter source is from 5 mTorr to 5 Torr. The 10 watt, 5 mTorr plasma is shown in the image on the right.