Matchbox Characterization


RF matching unit is a critical component of a radio frequency (RF) plasma processing equipment’s power delivery system. In general, the RF matching network consists of load and tune capacitors as well as an inductive coil. In the ideal world, the matching unit should not absorb any power. In practice, the coil has some resistance and there is power loss through ohmic heating. This reduces the matching network efficiency and may cause the coil to fail over time. High voltages across the capacitors (and high current flow through them) can also cause degradation over time. Continuous changes in the quality of the match components cause process drift and even worse, it can lead to a catastrophic failure. Matching unit characterization is now a key requirement for fab managers and process engineers throughout the industry.

To understand how to characterize a matching network click here

Figure 1 VI probe installed in an ICP chamber and power transfer efficiency measurements. (DOI:

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