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Plato Probe System

The Plato Probe is a planar Langmuir Probe designed to work in deposition plasmas when an insulating film will be deposited on the probe surface. The deposition tolerant probe can remain inside a plasma reactor while deposition processes are in progress. This allows the plasma parameters such as plasma density, Ion current density and electron temperature to be measured in systems where a standard Langmuir probe would not be suitable, such as plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) systems. This probe also has a sync function for time resolved measurements, to look at plasma evolution in Pulsed DC and HiPIMS processes with 1 microsecond resolution.

Key Features
Measures plasma density, ion current density and electron temperature even with an insulating layer covering the tip (up to 10 microns).
Time averaged, time trend and synchronised pulse profile.
Integrated linear drive mechanism available to automatically profile spatial plasma uniformity.
Advanced models for pressure compensation included in the software, with a reanalysis function for old data sets.
Compatible with DC, Pulsed DC, RF, Pulsed RF, Microwave and other plasma excitation methods.
1 microsecond resolution available for pulsed processes, with a TTL port for pulse.
Key Benefits
State of the art plasma models built into the software for automatic data analysis.
Intuitive and user-friendly interface with built in models and graphing functions.
Compatible with deposition processes where standard DC Langmuir probes cannot be used.
Robust and durable design to survive in extreme plasma environments.
Custom probe options including right angle elbows and flexible probe shafts to fit any chamber.
Provides measurements for fundamental research, process development and model benchmarking.
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A linear dive can accurately and automatically move the probe without disturbing the vacuum using a bellows system and motor. This can all be automated in the software while also having the ability to collate the data in order to plot the spatial trend of the plasma parameters calculated at each spatial point.

Model types Spatial Range (mm) Minimum Probe Length (mm)

02-0507-01

150

232.4

02-0033-04

300

446.4

02-0034-04

450

639.4

02-0035-04

600

824.4

02-0508-01

900

1188.4

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Electronics control unit for the Plato probe. Connects to a PC via USB cable to operate the probe.

Model Number Current Range Description

02-0238-01

300 μA - 20 mA

Compatible with all Plato Probe shafts and linear drives

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Plato probe with a fixed length that has a direct line of sight into the plasma from the vacuum port.

Model types Length Description

02-0073-01

Fixed Probe 10 mm

10 mm OD, rigid, Alumina Shaft (<1m length)

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If direct line of sight cannot be achieved then using the Flexible Plato probe this limitation can be overcome. The Flexible Langmuir probe consists of a Feed-through, a user specified flexible length followed by a length of solid shaft that goes until the tips.

Model types Length Description

02-0239-01

Feed-through for flexible shaft models

Feed-through for flexible Plato Probes

02-0240-01

Flexible 70 mm Shaft

Rigid tip section with flexible ceramic beaded cable

General Specifications
Probe length
300 mm to 14 mm, Customisable
Probe tip Diameter
7 mm as standard (Customisable)
Probe tip material options
Aluminium, Stainless steel
Max. operating temperature
125 °C
Plasma reactor types
DC, Pulsed DC, RF (> 5 MHz), Pulsed RF, Microwave
Linear drive options
150, 300, 450, 600 & 900 mm
Time resolved step resolution
1 μs
Voltage scan range
Floating potential ±30 V
Current range
300 μA to 20 mA
Sensor pulse synchronisation
External sync: TTL input trigger (10 Hz to 10 kHz)
Plato Probe System Plasma Parameter Ranges
Plasma Density
4x108 to 3x1013 cm-3
Ion Current Density
26 μA/cm2 to 300 mA/cm2
Electron Temperature
0.1 eV to 15 eV

Software Screenshots

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Ion Density vs Position data.
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Typical VI curve from Plato Probe.
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