One critical component of a radio-frequency (RF) plasma processing equipment’s power delivery system is the RF matching unit which usually 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 event.
Matching unit characterisation is now a key requirement for fab managers and process engineers throughout the industry.
There are three key performance indicators for the matching network; the match impedance range, the match quality and the match efficiency including the internal resistance. The Octiv VI probe and impedance meter is the ideal product for characterizing the matching network in terms of these three parameters.