Non-thermal supersonic plasma jet deposition is a technique in which independent control over plasma chemistry and film growth is achieved by fluidodynamic segregation of the two processes in separate chambers. The application of the deposited nanomaterials ranges from fields as diverse as photovoltaics, photoelectrochemistry, energy storage and photonics.
Non-thermal plasmas is a technique for deposition and functionalisation of flexible and more rigid substrates at atmospheric pressure. Plasma processing is able to modify the surface characteristics of materials without changing their mechanical properties. Atmospheric plasmas promote the adhesion of both coatings and nanocoatings.
Non-thermal vacuum plasmas are tehcniques for etching, deposition and functionalisation of several substrates and micro- and nano-powders. Plasma processing in vacuum permits to functionalize the surface of several materials and to deposit organic or inorganic thin films in order to modify the functional properties.
INNOVATIVE SURFACES by ATMOSHERIC PLASMA PROCESSING:
textiles, plastics, papers, powders.
FILM DEPOSITIONS for Sensor Technologies
Sensing technology has been widely investigated for gas detection. Sensors based on metal oxide semiconductors are mainly applied to detect gases through redox reactions between the target and the oxide surface. ZnO is a good gas sensitive material for detection of both reducing and oxidizing gases. Several elements, such as the composition and the structure of the sensing layer, affect the redox reactions and thus the sensitivity of the sensor. Plasma technology allows to obtain thin, uniform and porous ZnO film, without defects or impurities.
NEW TECHNOLOGY and INNOVATION
WHAT IS A PLASMA?
It is a chemical reactive gas composed of molecules, atoms, and charged particles. Charged particles (electrons and ions) promote the dissociation of molecules favouring the aggregation of new molecule groups. New chemical groups interact with the surface of the substrate, promoting the chemical graft, the chemical etching, and the deposition of films. Once the surface of the substrate has been modified by the plasma, its functional properties are changed. A water proof substrate can become hydrophilic, and, viceversa an hydrophilic substrate can become water repellent...
NANOSTRUCTURED FILM DEPOSITIONS
The production of nano-particles and nanostructured materials is, currently, one of the fields of more intense technological and industrial development. Plasma Technology is capable of depositing nanostructured film with controlled chemistry, morphology, and porosity. The use of a supersonic plasma jet allows to focus the precursor flow on a target and to control the growth and the sizes of clusters. By changing the conditions it is possible to obtain hierarchically structured films, controlling the overall structure at the nanoscale.
Nanoparticles and coatings made of oxides, semiconductors or metals are built having many applications in materials science. The possibility to change their morphology at the nanoscale makes them even more interesting for applications like energy conversion or storage, catalysis and photocatalysis, rather than in their more conventional uses such as barrier or protective films.
1. Nanocoating at atmospheric pressure for flexible substrates for PACKAGING: Gas-barrier, antifog, release effect, printability, antibacterial.
2. Vacuum coating also containing micro- and nano-particles for LIQUID FILTRATION and for SEPARATION of liquids, oil/water separation (eg. ceramic materials or polymeric materials).
3. Nanocoating and functionalization at atmospheric pressure for TEXTILES and NON-WOVEN FABRICS (eg. Anti-pilling and waterproof).
4. Nanocoatings and functionalisation in vacuum conditions for applications in Biomedicine, Packaging, Textiles.
FILM DEPOSITIONS for Photovoltaics
The titanium dioxide (TiO2) is one of the photo-catalysts most studied, due to its chemical stability, low toxicity, and oxidizing properties. Many of the applications developed in recent years are related to the energy, including photovoltaics (DSSC and thin film solar cells). The Supersonic Plasma Jet Deposition technique offers the possibility to create highly efficient nano-structures, with a high chemical purity and a controlled structure and thickness. Columnar and branched structures have been successfully grown and tested to realize DSSC.
WHAT ARE NANOCOATINGS?
They are thin films with thicknesses of the order of nanometers (1 mm = 1 millions of nm). Nanocoatings can be deposited by means of nanotechnologies on several substrates. The advantages of nanocoatings are:
NANOSTRUCTURED FILMS FOR ENERGY AND ENVIRONEMENT
A plasma-based method is developed for producing nanostructured films with controlled morphology, particularly of a hierarchically organized type, suitable for industry-scale applications. The NEW TECHNOLOGY permits to grow a large variety of nanostructured materials, metals, semiconductors, oxides, and ceramic compounds.