Plasma technology and its different processing methods are used in many broad industrial contexts, due to its vast potential when it comes to modifying surfaces. There are different plasma technolologies depending on the desired effect to be achieved in your materials. What makes plasma technology so attractive are the many application possibilities that can be customized according to each customer’s needs. Plasma-modified surfaces play a crucial role in many industries. The automotive, electronics and medical industries are just a few examples. This process of plasma surface modification is performed at a dry molecular level by each of the respective methods. Thierry Plasma offers many different systems and types customized to process customer materials to specification.

Plasma surface technology is growing industry modifying surfaces’ characteristics and properties – from changing adhesive bonding performance to making surfaces hydrophobic, etching specific structures, or cleaning them on a molecular level.

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Plasma Activation

Plasma activation is the process of modifying the surfaces energy level of a material in order to enhance wettability to increase adhesion properties. This increase in adhesion is caused due to the process of covalent bonding. This means, the base material and the applied adhesive, paint or lacquer now share electrons. This method of producing a bond is much stronger than the process of mechanical roughening or prepping a surface for adhesion promotion.

Plasma Activation

Plasma Cleaning

Plasma cleaning is a process of removing microscopic particles and contamination by a dry method. This cleaning process works on a molecular level converting these foreign materials into a gas. This gas is then pumped away from the base material leaving no residue when cleaning the part. The process of removing organic material from a surface is done with oxygen. The process of reducing an oxide from a surface is done with hydrogen. Argon is used to remove a broad spectrum of elemental contamination from a surface.

Plasma Cleaning

Plasma Coating

Plasma coating is a plasma application with which ultra-thin layers of different polymers are deposited on the surfaces of a numerous range of materials. Feed stock materials, either in gaseous or liquid state, are used depending on the properties to be achieved. Plastics, metals, ceramics, glass, textiles and other materials can be made hydrophobic, hydrophilic, scratch resistant, corrosion protected, metallized, diffusion barrier added, and so on.

Plasma Coating

Plasma Etching

When a material’s surface needs to be removed, that’s when the application of plasma etching, also called dry etching, comes into action. Surfaces are etched on a molecular level, a process especially suited for semiconductor, medical and painting technologies. The two main options for plasma etching with Thierry Plasma are: etching with or without masks, depending on if a complete surface or just specific structures are needed.

Plasma Etching

Industrial Systems

Plasma cleaning and activating are reliable and well-used tools in order to optimize processes. The possibilities towards more individualized products and products with enhanced and/or modified surface properties on a microscopic, even molecular -level make plasma technology indispensable. Industries that profit from the possibilities of the different plasma applications are the automotive, solar, textile jewelry industries, to name a few.

Industrial Plasma Systems

Medical

Especially in the area of medicine, plasma technology holds unforeseen possibilities. The advances in research and manufacturing of new products, the optimization of existing ones, and in general the innovative environment in the medical field call for a technology like plasma technology. In order for manufacturing products and structures of nano- and molecular level and the easy customization and modification of products are just a few advantages of the use of plasma applications. From cleaning catheters via hearing aids to laboratory hardware, plasma technology already plays a vital role in the medical industry and science.

Medical Plasma Applications

PDMS Bonding & Microfluidics

PDMS, short for polydimethylsiloxane, is a silicone-based polymer that is optimally suited for the production of microfluidic devices. Under conventional procedures PDMS is not adhesive, but when activated with oxygen plasma with the help of low-pressure plasma technology it is bondable with glass covalently. This means the glass and the PDMS share electrons. This results in the materials are bonded without the use of an adheisive. When designing microfluidic systems, low pressure plasma applications on PDMS are a reliable way to produce research or production quantities of microfluidic devices.

PDMS Bonding & Microfluidics

Plastic Bonding

Plastic materials play a great role in today’s industry. An integral part of these materials are their adhesive capacities. The treatment with plasma applications as plasma cleaning and plasma activation provide the opportunity to produce covalent bonds between the base materials and the adhesive. The sharing of electrons in the bond joint is much stronger than a purely mechanical bond produced in typical bonding processes. This plasma activation provides the opportunity to use materials in a bonding or painting process that would typically be nearly impossible to produce a reliable bond in the respective application.

Plastic Bonding

Reactive Ion Etcher RIE

The term Reactive Ion Etching, abbreviated as RIE, is the process of adding directional selectivity to plasma etching. What this means is that reactive chemical species (Ions) are accelerated in the vertical axis toward the parts surface. This directional component of the process means that a near vertical wall is able to be produced in masked off features of the surface to be etched. This technology also allows you to increase etch rates in difficult to etch materials and produce features in a material that were nearly impossible to produce by other methods.

Reactive Ion Etcher RIE

Plasma Treatment

There are different types of systems for plasma treatment when cleaning, activating, etching and coating surfaces of different materials. To achieve the desired results, different raw materials or feed stocks are used in the plasma state and deposited or removed from the surface. Plasma activation modifies a surface’s energy levels in order to enhance its ability to bond to an adhesive, paint or coating. When using plasma cleaning, surfaces get cleaned down to the molecular level. Plasma coatings create surfaces with different properties such as water-resistance or corrosion-protection.

Plasma Treatment

Plasma-systems from a market leader

Thierry Plasma is a world leader when it comes to plasma technology and comprehensive master management on a global level. Thierry’s plasma technology division offers different solutions to modify surfaces via plasma applications. From start to finish, our staff is dedicated to providing, in collaboration with the customer, the optimal solution prior to buying or renting suitable plasma systems from Thierry Plasma.

No matter if etching, activating, coating or cleaning is required, Thierry Plasma offers systems built with a modular design and manufacturing concept. Most of the tools, especially the systems using low-pressure-plasma, are customizable with on site service and process development provided.

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