A compact floating retarding-field ion energy analyzer and the accompanying electronics have been designed and built to measure the energy distribution of ions bombarding radio-frequency (rf) biased electrodes in high-density plasma reactors. The design consists of two main components, a compact retarding field vacuum probe and an integrated stack of floating electronics for providing output voltages, measuring currents and voltages and transmitting data to a computer. The operation and capabilities of the energy analyzer are demonstrated through ion energy distribution measurements conducted on a 4 MHz rf-biased electrostatic chuck in a 13.56 MHz high-density transformer coupled plasma (TCP) reactor. The analyzer is capable of operating while floating on several hundreds of volts of rf bias and at pressures up to 30 mTorr without differential pumping. The effects of pressure (2–30 mTorr), TCP power (500–1500 W), rf-bias power (0–800 W), gas composition, and ion mass on the ion energy distributions are demonstrated through Ar, Ne, and Ar/Ne discharges.

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