Electron-impact-ionization dynamics of SF6

James N. Bull, Jason W. L. Lee, Claire Vallance

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A detailed understanding of the dissociative electron ionization dynamics of SF6 is important in the modeling and tuning of dry-etching plasmas used in the semiconductor manufacture industry. This paper reports a crossed-beam electron ionization velocity-map imaging study on the dissociative ionization of cold SF6 molecules, providing complete, unbiased kinetic energy distributions for all significant product ions. Analysis of these distributions suggests that fragmentation following single ionization proceeds via formation of SF5+ or SF3+ ions that then dissociate in a statistical manner through loss of F atoms or F2, until most internal energy has been liberated. Similarly, formation of stable dications is consistent with initial formation of SF42+ ions, which then dissociate on a longer time scale. These data allow a comparison between electron ionization and photoionization dynamics, revealing similar dynamical behavior. In parallel with the ion kinetic energy distributions, the velocity-map imaging approach provides a set of partial ionization cross sections for all detected ionic fragments over an electron energy range of 50-100 eV, providing partial cross sections for S2+, and enables the cross sections for SF42+ from SF+ to be resolved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number042704
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2017

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