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Radio Frequency Plasma Cracker Source for the Hybrid Generation of Atoms and Ions from Nitrogen or Reduced Nitrogen Gases

The hybrid plasma source for nitrogen or other reducive nitrogen gases PCS-RF-HN 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. 

The different modes of the PCS-RF source are defined by the type of aperture used. For the hybrid-nitrogen mode, the apertures have two elements acting as a grid and extractor, but also a dielectric aperture covering the plama chamber, which allows then a combination of both, as an atom source and as an ion source. With no potential it behaves like an atom source until potentials are applied to the extraction grids, when nitrogen ions with controllable energy (50 - 1500 eV) are then added to the beam.

The hybrid mode is a good option when both atoms and ions are required. Nevertheless, it is also a compromise between the two modes and therefore it provides less intensity current than in single mode.

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 reactive gases or as an atom source, downstream plasma source or ion source.


  • Filamentless design permits operation with reductive gases
  • Low damage surface treatment
  • Optimal sample growth
  • High stability and deposition control
  • Continously tunable from very small to very high atom fluxes
  • Low operation pressures
  • Low kinetic energies (<1 eV) suitable for  sensitive surface treatment




Working Principle

Radio Frequency assisted plasma source

E-beam power

500 W max. at 13.56 MHz

(400W for oxygen and hydrogen)

Gas Flow Rate

< 0.1 sccm to 100 sccm (mode dependant)

Operating Modes

Hybrid mode

Operating Pressure

< 10-7 - 10-5 mbar

Optional Accessories

Integrated shutter

Non standard lengths

Various aperture types

Differential pumping

Autotuning unit


Plasma monitor

Plasma Control

Faraday Cup

Spot Size

~23 mm at source

Mounting Flange

NW63CF (4.5 ")

Insertion Depth

309 mm




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