Plasma RF Generator

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Richardson RFPD provides components and design support to produce the RF signal needed for a plasma processing system and the amplification of that signal to the needed plasma application level. We offer both discrete and integrated RF semiconductor products, including transistors, power amplifiers, digital attenuators, and pallet amplifiers. We also stock all of the necessary passive RF components needed to complete a plasma RF generator design. This includes baluns, couplers, combiners, splitters, signal detectors, fixed RF capacitors, tuning capacitors, tuning inductors, coaxial cables, connectors, heat sinks, gaskets, filters, RF resistors, and RF terminations. Our portfolio includes commercial-grade and high-reliability parts.

Please browse our Plasma RF Generator product categories, below, as well as the application notes and white papers included in the Technical Resources section. And please do not hesitate to contact us for design assistance.


Richardson RFPD employs more RF engineers than any global distributor. By offering deep technical expertise to support the latest products from the leading suppliers in RF & Wireless and Energy Technologies, we are uniquely positioned to help customers meet the challenges of changing markets.

A plasma RF generator produces a high-power RF signal and is one of the key front-end subsystems of a larger industrial plasma processing system. The number of applications for industrial plasma processing has exploded over the past 20 years or so, and multiple industries now benefit from using plasma processing, including:

  • Semiconductor Manufacturing: Surface preparation, Vapor deposition, Etching, Thin-film deposition, and Passivation techniques
  • Other Electronics Manufacturing: Surface “activation” to improve bonding, Potting, and Sealing processes
  • General Industrial: To promote adhesion (surfaces), Surface hardening, Ion beam etching, and Spectroscopy
  • Life Sciences: Water purification, Waste water treatment, and Bio-molecular isolation
  • Medical Coatings/Cleaning: Contact lenses, Coronary stents, Artificial joints, and Medical instrument sterilization

Various kilowatt systems can be developed through multiple combining sections within the RF power amplifier, including the use of multiple High Power Amplifier (HPA) packages, and the input splitter and output combiner circuitry used. The Plasma RF Generator power amplifier shown in our block diagram (in the Technical Resources tab) uses multiple push-pull transistor packages to increase the output power beyond 1.2 kW. It also employs a Wilkinson splitter to properly divide the input between the 2 HPA packages and a Wilkinson combiner to properly combine the high output power from the 2 HPA stages.

For more detailed information on this application, please refer to the technical articles and design considerations found in the Technical Resources tab.

Links for additional information
A Beginner’s Guide to ICP-MS
ICP-MS tutorials written by Robert Thomas
Free e-books and guides on Plasma Physics
Perspectives on Plasmas
Wikipedia's Plasma (physics) page