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Plasma colour in a sputtering chamber

  1. Nov 21, 2012 #1
    Hi everyone,
    my question is: what information can someone get by just looking at the colour of a plasma?
    I the elements inside the chambers, together with some(few) common impurities.

    Using the common spontaneous emission formula i can guess what transition emitted light with a particular frequency, but i don't have any database to make that data meaningful...

    thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2012 #2


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    Inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy is a common method for analyzing elements in a material.

    http://www.wfu.edu/chemistry/courses/jonesbt/334/icpreprint.pdf [Broken]

    One would need to calibrate one's system with a standard. One usually uses a standard obtained NIST.

    There are other techniques for surface analysis:
    http://www.chem.qmul.ac.uk/surfaces/scc/ [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  4. Nov 21, 2012 #3


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    Actually, I'm not sure if you can make such analysis of the glow in a plasma used for sputtering.

    In a reactive sputtering where the sputtered specie react with a gas that has been backfilled, you can tell the difference in the color between reactive and non-reactive, i.e. you detect a qualitative difference. However, whether you can make elemental analysis from the color, that I haven't seen done before.

  5. Nov 21, 2012 #4
    I see. Thank you for both your answers.
    In my case it's normal magnetron sputtering.
    Can a different amount of oxigen in the chamber change the colour of the plasma?
    I'm sputtering using a Ti target:
    If plasma is green it forms a Ti film, if it's light blue it forms TiO2 film...
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