A radio frequency (RF) driven plasma ion source has an external RF antenna, i.e. the RF antenna is positioned outside the plasma generating chamber rather than inside. The RF antenna is typically formed of a small diameter metal tube coated with an insulator. An external RF antenna assembly is used to mount the external RF antenna to the ion source. The RF antenna tubing is wound around the external RF antenna assembly to form a coil. The external RF antenna assembly is formed of a material, e.g. quartz, which is essentially transparent to the RF waves. The external RF antenna assembly is attached to and forms a part of the plasma source chamber so that the RF waves emitted by the RF antenna enter into the inside of the plasma chamber and ionize a gas contained therein. The plasma ion source is typically a multi-cusp ion source.
The United States Government has the rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No.DE-AC03-76SF00098 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California.