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........ published in NEWSLETTER # 52

by Professor C.M. Ferreira, Universidade Tecnica, Lisboa (Portugal), and Professor M. Moisan, University, Montreal (Quebec)

Microwave power can be used to break down a gas in electrons and ions, forming what is known as a plasma or gas discharge. Besides being an interesting field of physics calling upon statistical mechanics, atomic physics and electromagnetism, microwave produced plasmas are being used in numerous applications. For example, they provide the ions and the chemically active species indispensable for the synergetic effects in processes where thin films of material are deposited or removed (etched) on given materials as required in the fabrication of the tiny chips and processors of today's computers; microwave plasmas are also useful in metallurgical surface treatment (e.g. nitriding) and in materials processing in general. Microwave discharges can also dissociate molecules and further excite and ionize atoms as required in analytical chemistry. Moreover, microwave plasmas can supply photons for laser and lighting applications. The versatility of microwave plasmas, their moderate cost and their ease of implementation are particularly appealing. The present book (NATO ASI SERIES B302) is a summary of both theoretical and experimental advances, and applications in that field. It results from a meeting where known experts were asked to summarize the work in their field.

The book, which is the result of a NATO Advanced Study Institute on the same subject, is divided into six parts:

_Surface wave discharges
_Microwave plasma sources including electron cyclotron (ECR) and distributed ERC discharges
_Light sources
_Applications including semiconductor processing, iron surface treatment, diamond deposition, analytical chemistry, fabrication of optical fibers.
Reference books: B89, B149, B266, B220, B302

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