Low Pressure Plasma Systems

Group 774

Low Pressure Plasma Systems are specialized vacuum system components designed, assembled and operated for the specific process of producing plasma chemistry safely and repeatedly.

These Low Pressure Plasma Systems offer a wide range of options for surface modification. Some examples of this would be fine-cleaning of contaminated components, plasma activation of plastic parts, etching of organic or inorganic materials, plasma deposition, low friction coating, and coating of plastic parts with PTFE-like layers (polytetrafluoroethylene). Low Pressure Plasma Systems are used in a great variety of industries when it comes to combining materials or changing the surface characteristics of industrial materials.

The Use of Low Pressure Plasma Systems

With low pressure plasma systems, plasma is generated in an evacuated chamber containing a metered or dosed amount of the desired precursor gas or gases. This gas is then excited to change state to a plasma. One of the examples of this excitement would be to pass a radio frequency current through the gas. This RF energy creates a conforming gas plasma that comes in contact with the material surfaces inside the vacuum chamber. Two or more steps can be conducted successively, such as surface cleaning and surface coating, or cleaning, etching, and activating due to advances in plasma system control software.

Low pressure plasma systems are often operated in batch mode, which is ideal for production processing, product testing, and research.

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Low Pressure Plasma Systems

{id=1, name='Femto', order=0}

Femto Version 1

Control Cabinet:
W 310 mm H 330 mm D 420 mm

Chamber:
Ø 3.9 in, L 10.9 in

Chamber Volume:
2

Gas Supply:
1 gas channel via needle valve

Generator:
1 pc. with 40 kHz
(optional: 13.56 MHz or 2.45 GHz)

Control:
Semi-Automatic

{id=3, name='Nano', order=2}

Nano Version 3

Control Cabinet:
W 560 mm H 600 mm D 600 mm

Chamber:
Ø 10.5 in, L 16.5 in

Chamber Volume:
24

Gas Supply:
2 gas channel via needle valve

Generator:
1 pc. with 40 kHz
(optional: 13.56 MHz or 2.45 GHz)

Control:
Semi-Automatic

{id=4, name='Tetra', order=3}

Tetra 30 PCCE

Control Cabinet:
W 600 mm H 1700 mm D 800 mm

Chamber:
W 12" x H 11.8" x D 14.6"

Chamber Volume:
30

Gas Supply:
Mass flow controllers

Generator:
1 pc. with 40 kHz
(optional: 13.56 MHz or 2.45 GHz)

Control:
Touch Screen

{id=5, name='Special Tetra', order=4}

Special Tetra 15-LF-PC

Control Cabinet:
W 600 mm H 1700 mm D 800 mm

Chamber Volume:
15

Gas Supply:
Mass flow controllers

Generator:
1 pc. with 40 kHz
(optional: 13.56 MHz or 2.45 GHz)

Control:
PC

{id=5, name='Special Tetra', order=4}

Special Tetra 575-LF-PC

Control Cabinet:
W 600 mm H 2100 mm D 800 mm

Chamber Volume:
575

Gas Supply:
Mass flow controllers

Generator:
1 pc. with 40 kHz
(optional: 13.56 MHz or 2.45 GHz)

Control:
PC

{id=8, name='Atto', order=7}

Atto Version 3

Control Cabinet:
W 425 mm H 275 mm D 450 mm

Chamber:
Ø 8.3 in, L 11.8 in

Chamber Volume:
10.5

Gas Supply:
Mass flow controllers

Generator:
1 pc. with 40 kHz
(optional: 13.56 MHz)

Control:
Touch Screen

Low Pressure Plasma Applications

Low Pressure Plasma Activation

Low pressure plasma activation of a surface is used in industry to increase the bond strength between the base material and an adhesive, coating, or paint.  This increase in bond strength is due to a shift to covalent bonding where the base material and the adhesive share electrons to create a molecular bond.  

plasma_activation

Low Pressure Plasma Cleaning

Low pressure plasma cleaning of a surface is the process of removing a foreign material or contamination from a part.  This cleaning process removes material from the surface by turning it into a gas. A good example of this type of cleaning would be a part with a hydrocarbon contamination exposed to oxygen plasma.  The hydrocarbon solid would be converted to CO and HO gas. This gas would be pumped out of the plasma system leaving a part with a cleaned surface.

plasma_cleaning

Low Pressure Plasma Etching

Low pressure plasma etching of a surface is the process of removing bulk material or patterned material when used with a mask method or photoresist like materials.  The primary advantage of low pressure plasma etching with a dry gas process is the high resolution and decreased cost associated due to the lack of  waste streams generated compared to solvent-based etching methods. There is also an increased level of safety due to the lack of mechanical manipulation of etch materials using corrosive fluids. 

plasma_etching

Reactive Ion Etching

Low pressure plasma etching with a directional component is called Reactive Ion Etching (RIE).  The RIE method is the process of applying a charge to the surface of the part to be etched.  This charge accelerates etch plasma with the opposing charge directly at the sample to be etched.  This directional acceleration of the etch plasma increases the etch rate of the sample in one direction.  This directional etch rate produces etched structures with walls that are more vertical.  These vertical walls allow for smaller or denser features to be produced in comparison to etched features without a directional  process.

thierry-plasma-systems_Femto-version-6

Low Pressure Plasma Coating

Low pressure plasma deposition is the process of generating a coating or film on the surface of a part using a mixture of plasma processed gas or a vaporized liquid monomer as feed stocks in a plasma process.  This process has the advantage of being performed in the same chamber as a plasma activation process without breaking vacuum.  This coating process also has an advantage of being performed as a dry process without the generation of an aqueous waste streams.  

thierry-plasma-systems_Special-Tetra-120-LF-PC

Low Friction Coating

Low pressure plasma deposition is also capable of producing a low friction coating.  This low friction coating is commonly used to coat elastomeric O-rings and seals in an effort to have them bowl fed or handled during manufacturing without damage.  This low friction coating can also be used to provide an increased ease in assembly or decrease ware in mated sealed surfaces.

low_friction_coating

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