Plasma treatment systems are used to plasma clean, activate, etch, and coat surfaces. In plasma cleaning, the surface is cleaned by ion bombardment and chemical reactions. After plasma activation, the non-polar surfaces are changed into adhesive surfaces and the surface energy increases. To plasma etch or to remove material, the surface is etched with an etchant gas. With plasma coating, the monomers polymerize and form a coat on the surface. The types of plasma treatment systems that Thierry Plasma offers are low pressure and atmospheric plasma systems. In low pressure plasma treatment systems, plasma is generated in a closed chamber under a vacuum so that there are only small quantities of the gas. In atmospheric plasma systems, a plasma is expelled by a compressed air source.
Low pressure plasma treatment systems are operate in batch treatments, which makes these systems ideal for certain applications like research and development. It allows for uniform treatment of 2-D and 3-D objects and bulk materials in the chamber. Currently, Thierry Plasma has successfully created low pressure plasma systems with a chamber volume range from 2 to 12,600 liters, but we can customize each plasma systems according to the customer’s needs. By changing the parameters (pressure, power, process time, gas flow and composition), the operating plasma characteristics and the results of the plasma treatment can vary as well. The most budget friendly and basic low pressure plasma equipment that Thierry offers are the ZEPTO and ATTO. The FEMTO, PICO, NANO, and TETRA (in order of increasing chamber volumes) offer many more accessories and options than the ZEPTO and ATTO. An example of an application of low pressure plasma systems is to plasma clean PDMS to eliminate surface contaminants that may not be visible.
In atmospheric pressure plasma treatment systems, the plasma is generated under atmospheric pressure inside a nozzle. Atmospheric plasma treatment systems can be used to plasma activate or to plasma clean. Atmospheric pressure systems can be incorporated into current automated systems and can treat 2-D objects. However, the atmospheric pressure system is designed to treat smaller areas compared to the low pressure plasma system. Thierry Plasma offers three different atmospheric pressure systems: PlasmaBeam, PlasmaBeam PC, and PlasmaBeam Duo. The PlasmaBeam unit consists of a plasma applicator, generator, connections, and includes two operating modes (manual operation or semiautomatic). The PlasmaBeam Duo is identical to the PlasmaBeam but is equipped with two plasma applicators. Unlike the PlasmaBeam and PlasmaBeam Duo, the PlasmaBeam PC has automatic operation along with manual operation. The PC records all relevant parameters and allows for unit visualization and comment entry.