FAQ

What is Plasma?

Plasma, the fourth state of matter, is an ionized gas mixture consisting of ions, free radicals, neutral byproducts, and photons. Plasma is an electrically neutral mixture of physically and chemically active gas phase species capable of surface modification. The surface modification is the result of the interaction between the gas phase active species in the plasma and a solid surface. As a result, plasma can perform numerous surface modification processes including surface activation, selective etching and removal, deposition, cross-linking, and surface property modification.

What are some common plasma applications and processes?

Plasma processing is a complex interaction between gas phase chemistry, plasma conditions and surface phase chemistry/conditions. Plasma processing of materials is a technology that impacts and is of vital importance to several of the largest manufacturing industries in the world. Foremost among these industries is the electronics industry, in which plasma-based processes enable the manufacture of very large-scale integrated (VLSI) microelectronic circuits. Plasma processing of materials is also a critical technology in the aerospace, automotive, biomedical, and environmental management industries.

General types of plasma processes include: 1) etching, 2) chemical vapor deposition (CVD), 3) ion implantation, 5) plasma spray coating, and 6) medical sterilization and water treatment. There are various types of plasma systems such as DC Glow, RF, Microwave, neutral beams and thermal plasmas – the choice of plasma source depends on the desired process.

What kind of materials can plasma treat?

Plasma reaction can occur on nearly every type of material including glass, metals, semiconductor materials, polymers, organic and inorganic materials, textiles and liquids. Our system operates at low processing temperatures and minimal vacuum environment, thus allowing a wide range of materials to be treated.

What do you need to operate a plasma system?

PN system typically operates with standard 110V or 208V utility power. In addition, compressed gas supplies are usually required to produce pure and customized chemical reactions. A simple gas exhaust system without extensive scrubbing is sufficient for most applications.

What are the possible production speeds that can be reached?

The result of the surface treatment depends on various factors such as target and reactive materials, required surface treatment thickness and others. PN system operates at very high efficiency, thus we expect the production speed to be desirable. In addition, PN plasma reactors are compatible with roll-to-roll processes and can be customized for individual manufacturing lines. Please contact us for further information.

What is unique about your technology relative to other plasma processors?

Our patent-pending plasma reactor utilizes different plasma generating principles from other plasma reactors currently in the market. Compared with other low temperature atmospheric pressure plasma system, a PN reactor can provide superior plasma performance of more than 10x power efficiency with only 1/10 of the material consumption and much wider range of chemical reactivity.

Why is it so simple to integrate our plasma systems into production lines?

PN plasma reactors is conceived and developed with a goal to serve a wide range of industrial applications. It is highly power efficient, thus reducing power consumption and generating minimal waste heat. In addition, it can operate in a roll-to-roll configuration fitting a wide of range of high throughput industrial processes.

What kind of running costs will arise?

The main ongoing expenses come from electricity and chemical consumption, both of which are projected to be much less than the other plasma reactors currently in the market due to the high efficiency operations of PN reactors. In addition, minimal waste heat generation improves the system reliability and minimizes the maintenance costs.

What is your processing temperature?

The processing temperatures can be chosen between 50°C and 150°C in most applications, which provides unique and enabling operation conditions for nanomaterials processing for polymers, biomaterials, and membranes.

How long does the activation effect on the surface last?

The length of time that the activation effect will last will vary depending on the material activated. The effect is strongest directly after the treatment, then fades gradually and settles at a level higher than before pre-treatment. Often, plasma treatment is one of several production steps in finishing. We would be happy to discuss with you in detail how the activation effect will work in your particular applications.

Is it possible to treat irregular or three-dimensional shapes?

PN’s unique configuration accommodates the treatment of a wide range of shapes.

Does the PN plasma process affect the mass properties of a material?

Our plasma surface treatment method modifies the material‘s surface, monolayer by monolayer if needed. It does not change the bulk properties of the underlying material in any way.

Does your technology pose any specific environment, health, or safety risk?

Plasma processing is a dry chemistry and is conventionally known as a clean process technology. Our technology poses minimal EH & S risks as gases used in plasma generation have no toxicity. Reactive radicals produced inside plasma revert back to their inert states within seconds after they leave the system, allowing gaseous waste byproduct to be released into the atmosphere. Our plasma generators/reactors are precisely controlled through power, pressure, gas type and processing time. Users of the technology must be trained, but operations are fairly simple and straightforward.

What is Plasma?

Plasma, the fourth state of matter, is a partially ionized gas mixture consisting of ions, free radicals, neutral byproducts, and photons.

Plasma Applications

Plasma processing is a complex interaction between gas phase chemistry, plasma conditions and surface phase chemistry/conditions.