In this chapter, the characteristics of low-temperature inductively coupled plasma sources, that is, non-equilibrium, weakly ionized and bounded plasma, are described. The phenomenon of mode transition and hysteresis is one of the main physics aspects that happens in this source. Via a hybrid model, the behaviors of plasma parameters, electron kinetics and neutral species during mode transition are presented. Still, the role of metastables and multistep ionization on triggering the hysteresis is investigated. Using a fluid model that couples the equivalent circuit module, the discontinuity of mode transition and hysteresis are observed by tuning the matching network impedance. The work indicates the mutual interaction between the plasma and the circuit excites hysteresis. Besides these findings, the other important aspects of this phenomenon are briefly discussed. To the author, the exploration on the precursors that trigger hysteresis is the most attractive topic. The investigations advance the improvement of analytical theory, numerical modeling and experimental diagnostics of low-temperature plasma physics.
Part of the book: Plasma Science and Technology