Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Jim Browning


A new transistor is being developed to endure harsh temperatures (500C) and high radiation environments. This device operates by generating a plasma (ionized gas) a low pressure environment in an enclosed low pressure environment using argon gas. A small (2 cm) spiral antenna is embedded in a thin piece (2 mm) of Low Temperature Co-Fired Ceramic (LTCC). In the middle of the LTCC is a 1mm slit cut through with two exposed electrodes on the inside called the source and drain; both the source and drain are biased with respect to the antenna which oscillates about ground potential. A radio-frequency (RF) wave is applied to the spiral antenna to generate a plasma in the argon gas. The RF frequency is 800-1000 MHz. When the bias voltage on the source electrode is raised to a high enough value (30 V), a DC glow discharge occurs within the slit and between the source and the RF plasma. The goal of the project is to observe the nature of the plasma when the voltage from the drain is swept up and down between 0 and 60 volts by measuring the current from both the source and drain and also watching for the point at which the drain voltage dominates the DC discharge instead of the source.

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