The role of magnetic energy on plasma localization during the glow discharge under reduced pressure

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In this work, we present the first results of our research on the synergy of fields, electric and magnetic, in the initiation and development of glow discharge under reduced pressure. In the two-electrode system under reduced pressure, the breakdown voltage characterizes a minimum energy input of the electric field to initiate and sustain the glow discharge. The glow discharge enhanced by the magnetic field applied just above the surface of the cathode influences the breakdown voltage decreasing its value. The idea of the experiment was to verify whether the contribution of potential energy of the magnetic field applied around the cathode is sufficiently effective to locate the plasma of glow discharge to the grounded cathode, which, in fact, is the part of a vacuum chamber wall (the anode is positively biased in this case). In our studies, we used the grounded magnetron unit with positively biased anode in order to achieve favorable conditions for the deposition of thin films on fibrous substrates such as fabrics for metallization, assuming that locally applied magnetic field can effectively locate plasma. The results of our studies (Paschen curve with the participation of the magnetic field) seem to confirm the validity of the research assumption. What is the most spectacular - the glow discharge was initiated between introduced into the chamber anode and the grounded cathode of magnetron ‘assisted’ by the magnetic field (discharge did not include the area of the anode, which is a part of the magnetron construction).

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