A hotcathode silane dc discharge with electrostatic confinement devoted to the deposition of hydrogenated amorphous silicon is analyzed by using a Langmuir probe. The electron energy distribution of the plasma shows the existence of two pseudoMaxwellian populations with densities depending on the electrostatic confinement. The electron density of electrostatically confined plasma is higher than in the case of an unconfined one. In the electrostatically confined plasma, the hydrogenated amorphous silicon deposition rate is high (0.33 nm/s at 6 μbar).
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