Plasma Surface Modification - Modifying characteristics of surfaces • Adding coatings
Plasma surface modification is an extremely useful and important tool. Modifying a surface’s characteristics is often a necessary part of the industrial process. Plasma surface technology can modify the traits of a surface on the molecular level. Surface activation can be used to increase a surface’s adhesion potential, for example the ability for paints and glue to adhere to it. Plasma surface modification can also be used to create designated patterns on a surface. This is a process called etching and is widely used in the production of printed circuit boards. Plasma surface modification can layer surfaces with a coating to protect them or give them different characteristics by introducing monomers into the system.
Plasma Surface Science
To begin the plasma surface modification process, first you insert the surface you want to treat into the chamber. A vacuum then empties the chamber of air and creates a very low pressure inside. Then a small quantity of gas is added into the chamber. This gas is usually air, hydrogen, nitrogen, argon, oxygen or a combination of these gases. The gas inside the chamber is then ionized by an electrical charge creating plasma ions. These ions react with the outer layer of the surface and modify it on the molecular level. Depending on the plasma surface treatment that you want to perform, you can adjust the type of plasma used, the pressure inside the chamber, and how long the surface is treated to adapt your surface to the exact specifications that you need.