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Radio Frequency Plasma Cracker Source for the Generation of Ions from Oxygen or other Reactive Gases

The ion plasma source for oxygen or other reactive gases PCS-RF-IO 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 ion-oxygen mode, recombination of the ions and electrons needs to be avoided, therefore the source is equipped with metallic grids that have larger holes than the apertures in atom mode. The charged particles are actively extracted from the plasma and accelerated towards the sample by application of an accelerating voltage. The kinetic energy of the extracted ions is considerably higher than that of the neutral particles in atom mode, which allows implantation into deeper layers of the sample or sputtering of surface layers.

The ion currents which can be achieved with the plasma sources are in the mA range and thus significantly higher than with other kind of sources. It is suitable for cleaning or etching processes like reactive ion etching (RIE) or sputter deposition. 

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
  • Optimal sample growth
  • High stability and deposition control
  • High gas cracking efficiency
  • 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

Ion 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

Mounting Flange

NW63CF (4.5 ")

Insertion Depth

309 mm

Spot Size

~23 mm at source




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