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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C011457/1
Title: Advanced Spectroscopic Probes for Low Temperature Plasma Analysis
Principal Investigator: Peverall, Dr R
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Oxford Chemistry
Organisation: University of Oxford
Scheme: Advanced Fellowship (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 September 2005 Ends: 31 August 2010 Value (£): 239,096
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Gas & Solution Phase Reactions Plasmas - Technological
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
18 Apr 2005 Physics Fellowship Interview Panel Deferred
07 Mar 2005 Physics Fellowships Sifting Panel 2005 Deferred
Summary on Grant Application Form
Plasmas are widely used in modern surface deposition and etching technology, for example for the production of devices such as microelectronic components and flat panel displays, and the research proposed here will give detailed in-situ information about the actual development of the structure of the surfaces, and of any chemical reactions taking place during the processing. The research contains both fundamental plasma studies, necessary to broaden our knowledge of individual processes in various plasmas, and applied studies, which focus more on key questions concerning technological plasmas. The proposed research aims to develop and use advanced spectroscopic probes for important species in low temperature plasmas, thus extending our understanding of fundamental and applied plasma chemistry and elucidating chemical processes in technological plasmas. Spectroscopic techniques are ideal to analyse in a non-invasive way the reactions in the isolated environment of a laboratory plasma chamber as will be used for this work: they give information about specific species, absolute amounts of these species, about the time-dependence of the chemical processes and how much energy species possess. Measurements will be carried out in different regions of the plasma including the important sheath region which covers the plasma processing target.Ultra-sensitive optical methods such as frequency modulation spectroscopy, cavity ringdown spectroscopy and cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy, the latter which involve folding pathlengths of several kilometres into an actual footprint of less than one metre, will be used in combination with ultra compact diode lasers, the likes of which can be found in telecommunication devices and DVD players.Measurements will be carried out on:- electronegative plasmas containing molecular oxygen of both a fundamental and applied character by probing the relevant molecular and atomic species.- reactive gas-phase metastable and ionic species in a nitrogen plasma to study their chemistry and their role as energy sinks.- important radical hydrocarbon species to help understand the chemistry occuring in diamond deposition plasmas.Cavity enhanced evanescent wave techniques will be used to probe molecules directly on surfaces undergoing plasma processing. When light reflects off the inside of a surface, a fraction of it the evanescent wave penetrates through to the other side and is able to sense what is upon the surface. Using these methods will reveal important mechanisms in plasma-surface chemistry and the plasmas influence on deposition, etching, morphology, oxidation and passivation. Fluorocarbon and silicon containing species will monitored on surfaces and this technology will be tested with a view to real-time industrial plasma monitoring in a technical plasma processing environment.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.ox.ac.uk