Surface Treatment – Silicon, Glass, Metal Oxides and Metals

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1. Habib, S. B., Gonzalez, E., and Hicks, R. F., “Atmospheric oxygen plasma activation of silicon (100) surfaces,” J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A, submitted August 14 (2009). Abstract: Silicon (100) surfaces were converted to a hydrophilic state with a water contact angle of <5° by treatment with a radio frequency, atmospheric pressure helium, and oxygen plasma. A 2 in. wide plasma beam, operating at 250 W, 1.0 l/min O 2 , 30 l/min He, and a source-to-sample distance of 3±0.1 mm , was scanned over the sample at 100±2 mm / s . Plasma oxidation of HF-etched silicon caused the dispersive component of the surface energy to decrease from 55.1 to 25.8 dyn/cm, whereas the polar component of the surface energy increased from 0.3 to 42.1 dyn/cm. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed that the treatment generated a monolayer of covalently bonded oxygen on the Si(100) surface 0.15±0.10 nm thick. The surface oxidation kinetics have been measured by monitoring the change in water contact angle with treatment time, and are consistent with a process that is limited by the mass transfer of ground-state oxygen atoms to the silicon surface.

2. Edington, J., Padwal, A., Williams, A., O’Keefe, J., and O’Keefe, T, J., “Metal surface preparation tips: a study on the effect of an atmospheric cold plasma pre-treatment on the surface of aircraft aluminum alloys and in cerium conversion coating deposition processes,” Met. Finish. 103, 38 (2005). Abstract: This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author’s copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

3. Foest, R., Kindel, E., Ohl, A., Stieber, M., and Weltmann, K. D., “Non-thermal atmospheric pressure discharges for surface modification,” Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion47, B525 (2005). Abstract: The capacitively coupled configuration allows the operation with both rare gases (e.g. Ar) and reactive gases (N2, air, reactive admixtures of silicon-containing compounds). Several capillaries are arranged in an array to allow plasma assisted treatment of surfaces including non-flat geometries. Optical emission spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and measurements of the axial and radial temperature profiles are used to characterize the discharge. The surface energy of different polymer materials is significantly enhanced after plasma treatment. Many applications are possible, such as plasma activation of surfaces for adhesion control, surface cleaning, plasma enhanced CVD, plasma cleaning, plasma activation and biomedical applications.

4. Kim, M. C., Song, D. K., Shin, H. S., Baeg, S. H., Kim, G. S., Boo, J. H., Han, J. G., and Yang, S. H., “Surface modification for hydrophilic property of stainless steel treated by atmospheric-pressure plasma jet,” Surf. Coat. Technol. 171, 312 (2003). Abstract: A new cold plasma jet has been developed for surface modification of materials at atmosphericpressure. This new cold plasma jet generator is composed of two concentric cylindrical all-metal tube electrodes. The argon is fed into the inner-grounded electrode, the outer electrode is connected to the high-voltage power supply and covered with a layer of dielectric, and then a stable cold plasma jet is formed and blown out into air. The plasma gas temperature is only 2530 C. Preliminary results are presented on the modification of polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fibres by this cold plasma jet. The water contactangle of these materials is found to decrease after plasma treatment and it will recover a little in two months. The chemical changes on the surface of polymers are studied by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is used to study the changes in surface feature of polymers due to plasma treatment. The hydrophilicity and surface structure of these materials after plasma treatment are discussed. The results show that such a plasma jet is effective.

5. Kim, M. C., Yang, S. H., Boo, J. H., and Han, J. G., “Surface treatment of metals using an atmospheric pressure plasma jet and their surface characteristics,” Surf. Coat. Technol. 174, 839 (2003). Abstract: We have treated the surfaces of Al, SUS and Cu metals using an atmospheric-pressure plasma jet generated by nitrogen and oxygen gases under the atmospheric pressure at room temperature. The plasma ignition occurred by flowing mixed gases between two coaxial metal electrodes, and the voltage was applied with impulse type and 16–20 kHz frequencies. The treated surfaces were basically characterized by means of a contact angle analyzer for the activation property on their surfaces. From the results of XPS, FE-SEM, OES and AFM, we could confirm that the main phenomena such as the reactive etching and oxidation were observed on their surfaces as well as even the aggregation of particles by the activated atoms, radicals and metastable species in the plasma space. However, all treated surfaces contained only oxygen and carbon without nitrogen, even though the excited nitrogen species were generated in the plasma due to its higher reactivity than oxygen ones observed in the OES data. The aging effect on the duration time of the surface energy, moreover, was also studied because of the production cost on the industrial applications in addition.

6. Chan, I. M., Cheng, W. C., and Hong, F. C., “Enhanced performance of organic light-emitting devices by atmospheric plasma treatment of indium tin oxide surfaces,” Appl. Phys. Lett.,b>80, 13 (2002). Abstract: Atmospheric plasma treatment of indium tin oxide ~ITO! surfaces has been studied and demonstrated to be the most efficient method in improving the performance of vacuum-deposited double-layer organic light-emitting diode devices, among various plasma treatment methods including low-pressure Ar plasma and low-pressure O2 plasma treatment. Although with a current–voltage characteristic close to low-pressure O2 plasma treatment, the atmospheric plasma treatment exhibits a 40% increase of electroluminescence efficiency. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results show that the atmospheric plasma treatment increases the work function and reduces the carbon contamination of ITO surfaces. Our results suggest that atmospheric plasma treatment is a cheaper, more convenient, and more efficient method than low-pressure O2 plasma treatment for improving device performance.

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