Surface Treatments

Low-pressure plasma systems have the ability to perform cleaning, activation, etching and coating treatments. These treatments can optimize a surface for its designated manufacturing task.

Low-pressure plasma systems have the ability to perform cleaning, activation, etching and coating treatments. These treatments can optimize a surface for its designated task. General plasma surface treatments are used to clean and activate a surface on a microscopic scale. Activation increases a material’s surface adhesion ability. Etching is a surface treatment where ions within the plasma create robust reactions with the material’s surface atoms resulting in larger portions of the material being removed, which can be used to deeply structure surfaces. When an etching mask is put onto a surface, plasma is able to etch out a design by carving out material not covered by the mask. When monomers are introduced into a plasma system, surface treatments can add ultra-thin layers onto a surface such as hydrophobic coatings or a PTFE coating.

Uses for Surface Treatments

These surface treatments have limitless real-world applications. Cleaning surface treatments are used in the sterilization of medical implants, and the degreasing of metal parts in order to prepare for soldering or circuit printing. Activation surface treatments are used in precision mechanics to make the outer layers of parts more resistant to wear and tear. It is also the most effective method to enhance non-wettable plastic parts for industrial painting. Etching is a vital step during the production of integrated circuits and is also crucial in preparing high-temperature, resistant surfaces like PTFE before paint or glue adhesion. Coating surface treatments are commonly used in the textile industries, in the manufacturing of biochips, and in the manufacturing of fuel tanks.