Radio Frequency Atom Plasma Cracker Source for Nitrogen or Reduced Nitrogen Gases  for Most Demanding MBE Applications

The atom plasma source for oxygen or other oxidizing gases PCS-RF-AN is a fully UHV compatible component for most demanding MBE applications and surface modifications, suitable for a wide range of vacuum levels (UHV to HV). A RF current with 13.56 MHz is generated by the RF power supply and fed into a RF coil that surrounds the plasma tube in the source. The corresponding RF field is inductively coupled into the plasma tube and plasma is generated from the gas molecules inside the plasma discharge tube. High RF powers lead to very high power density in the plasma and thus highest possible cracking efficiencies. A specially designed aperture inhibits the release of ions from the plasma while allowing neutral nitrogen atoms to effuse out. The particles emitted from the source are largely thermalized ( <1 eV) and therefore, this plasma source is suitable for sensitive samples. The atoms produced with very low kinetic energies allow them to be used in sensitive surface treatments or material growth where higher energy particles may implant in the surface or otherwise disturb the crystallinity of the growing/treated layer. The atoms produced by cracking stable molecular  nitrogen gas are highly chemically active and can enable many chemical processes not possible with the molecular form, such as doping of Zinc Selenide with nitrogen and growth of GaN, again with nitrogen.

The source is fully bakeable with outstanding cooling from a full length water-jacket. With additional sets of the user-exchangeable extraction grids or aperture plates, the source can be easily reconfigured for reducing gases or as an atom source, downstream plasma source or hybrid source.


  • Filamentless design permits operation with reactive gases
  • Low damage surface treatment and sample growth
  • High gas cracking efficiency
  • Low operation pressures
  • Low kinetic energies (<1 eV) suitable for  sensitive surface treatment
  • Boron nitride discharge tube
  • Boron nitride aperture