Materials & Chemicals
Device and Method for Plasma Modification of Materials at Atmospheric Pressure
Inventors: Ferencz Denes, Sorin Manolache, Noah Hershkowitz
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a novel plasma generator that operates at atmospheric pressure and is designed to modify inorganic and organic substrates with large surface areas.
To date, plasma-enhanced surface modification of materials has been performed mostly under vacuum, due to the high efficiency of plasma discharge at low pressure. However, not only are vacuum systems complex and expensive to maintain, but plasma modification under vacuum also requires that materials be completely enclosed in a chamber, ruling out any type of continuous, assembly-line processing. Thus, use of this technology is usually only justified when it’s the only option available, or when plasma modification adds substantial value to the materials being processed.
UW-Madison researchers have developed a novel plasma generator that operates at atmospheric pressure and is designed to modify inorganic and organic substrates with large surface areas. The plasma reactor is composed of a flat-bed, multi-cylinder array, with each point in the array housing a recess that contains a pair of plasma-generating electrodes. When these multiple plasma sources discharge together, they create a plasma over the entire array surface, making the system ideal for treating two-dimensional materials of large size.
- Plasma processing of large materials
- Continuous plasma processing
- Performs uniform surface modifications -- including deposition, functionalization and etching -- at atmospheric pressure in both inert and reactive gas environments
- Eliminates need for expensive and complex vacuum systems
- Allows efficient, assembly-line processing of materials
- Unlike previous atmospheric pressure plasma generators (which require substrates to pass through a “free space” between plasma electrodes), the design of this device accommodates workpieces of large size
- Well suited for treating surfaces of flat materials, including film, fabric, web, glass, paper and thin metal sheets
- Provides uniform plasma emission over a greater surface area than previous plasma generators