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Influence of magnetic field and ionization on gradient driven instability in an E×B plasma



An E×B plasma is important for various applications including Hall thrusters and magnetic nozzle for long-lasting
space propulsion. Such a cross field arrangement in inductively coupled plasma plays vital role in film deposition
and etching that are the basic ingredients in semiconductor industries; though in these applications, only the
electrons are magnetized which enhance the plasma production and hence, ultimately control the etching aspect
ratio and film quality. In the present work, an E × B plasma is considered where ionization takes place and
finite temperature gradient also exists. Specifically, a theoretical model is developed for analysing the effect
of magnetic field on the density gradient driven instability. The growth rate of the instability is evaluated as a
function of plasma background density, scale length of density gradient, ionization frequency, charge on ions, ion
temperature gradient, temperatures of plasma species and magnetic field. To generalize the situation, case of
different masses of the ions is also reviewed by considering both the electrons and the ions to be magnetized.

Graphical Abstract