Volume 80, Number 2, October 2007
Article Number 25001
Number of page(s) 4
Section Physics of Gases, Plasmas and Electric Discharges
Published online 17 September 2007
EPL, 80 (2007) 25001
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/80/25001

Low-pressure gas breakdown in dual-frequency RF electric fields in nitrogen

V. Lisovskiy1, J.-P. Booth2, K. Landry3, D. Douai4, V. Cassagne5 and V. Yegorenkov6

1  Department of Physics and Technology, Kharkov National University - Kharkov 61077, Ukraine
2  Laboratoire de Physique et Technologie des Plasmas, Ecole Polytechnique - Palaiseau 91128, France
3  Unaxis Displays Division France SAS - 5 rue Leon Blum, Palaiseau 91120, France
4  Association Euratom-CEA, Département de Recherches sur la Fusion Contrôlée, CEA Cadarache F-13108 Saint Paul lez Durance Cedex, France
5  Riber - 31 rue Casimir Périer, 95873 Bezons, France
6  Department of Physics, Kharkov National University - Kharkov 61077, Ukraine

received 17 June 2007; accepted in final form 23 August 2007; published October 2007
published online 17 September 2007

This paper reports the recorded breakdown curves for dual-frequency (27.12 MHz/2 MHz and 13.56 MHz/50 Hz) discharges in nitrogen. Applying the LF voltage shifts the RF breakdown curve to the region of higher voltages and gas pressures, which is associated with the increased loss of charged particles due to the drift in the LF field. At higher LF voltage amplitudes the LF field contributes to gas ionization, the breakdown voltage for the RF discharge decreases and approaches zero when a self-sustained discharge in the LF field ignites. Applying the RF voltage leads to the decrease in the breakdown LF voltage, possibly due to the decrease of electron losses because of the oscillations in the RF field.

52.80.Pi - High-frequency and RF discharges.

© Europhysics Letters Association 2007