Document Type


Publication Date


Patent Number

patent number 5325021


A high voltage accelerating potential, which is supplied by a high voltage direct current power supply, is applied to the electrically conducting interior wall of an RF powered glow discharge cell. The RF power supply desirably is electrically grounded, and the conductor carrying the RF power to the sample held by the probe is desirably shielded completely excepting only the conductor's terminal point of contact with the sample. The high voltage DC accelerating potential is not supplied to the sample. A high voltage capacitance is electrically connected in series between the sample on the one hand and the RF power supply and an impedance matching network on the other hand. The high voltage capacitance isolates the high DC voltage from the RF electronics, while the RF potential is passed across the high voltage capacitance to the plasma. An inductor protects at least the RF power supply, and desirably the impedance matching network as well, from a short that might occur across the high voltage capacitance. The discharge cell and the probe which holds the sample are configured and disposed to prevent the probe's components, which are maintained at ground potential, from bridging between the relatively low vacuum region in communication with the glow discharge maintained within the cell on the one hand, and the relatively high vacuum region surrounding the probe and cell on the other hand. The probe and cell also are configured and disposed to prevent the probe's components from electrically shorting the cell's components.

Application Number



Clemson University (Clemson, SC)

Filing Date


Primary/U.S. Class


Other/U.S. Class

250/281, 250/288, 315/176