Plasma FacilityThe IFM is home to a custom-designed, state-of-the-art plasma laboratory, which equips researchers with cutting-edge tools to accelerate outcomes.
We are using plasma to change the properties of one of the active materials in solar cells so they can produce more current from the sun.
GAYATHRI DEVI RAJMOHAN
DEAKIN PHD STUDENT
Advanced plasma facility
This custom-designed facility combines physical vapour deposition with plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition in a dual chamber system. In the PVD chamber, a Torus Magnetron sputter source and the substrate rotation feed-through provide the best film uniformity. It also has a high-strength magnet assembly for sputtering magnetic materials.
The PECVD also includes a substrate heater that allows samples to be heated to 800°C and DC/RF biasing to control the direction of nanomaterial growth. The samples can be horizontally transferred from one chamber to the other via a power probe (without exposure to air). Its multi-functional capabilities enable the dry fabrication of nanostructures (both top-down and bottom-up), their surface treatment, and multi-layer thin films & nanostructuring of materials in one instrument.
Plasma plus thermal system
This system combines plasma and thermal energy to fabricate nano-semiconductors. It can be used for nano-structuring, element doping, and surface cleaning/functionalization. Several plasma sources have been designed to enable different types of nano-fabrication.
Stirring plasma system
We are aiming at the surface functionalization of nanopowders or other forms of nano-materials (nanotubes etc.). This system addresses the challenge of achieving uniform treatment with a high functional group density and easy handling. It enables uniform surface functionalization of nanopowders.
Gases/monomers plasma system
This electrode-less reactor enables the controllable and selectable functionality of surfaces or membranes with high stability, on larger samples of any shape. The choice of gases/monomers, pressure, power and duty cycle allows a great degree of control over the polymer and surface functional groups.
Liquid plasma system
Liquid plasma is an exciting technology for applications in biomedicine, nanoscience, and agriculture. The challenge has been to achieve selectivity for the desired reactive species, and efficient production of the required species in liquid for specific applications.
We have developed a plasma gas bubble-in-liquid method using a nanosecond pulse generator with different gases, and have achieved high production of selectable reactive species. The new technology has been applied to milk sterilization, enhanced plant growth, wastewater treatment, and nanomaterial fabrication.
Commercial atmospheric pressure plasma system
Industry prefers to avoid batch treatments in favour of higher throughput continuous systems.
Vacuum plasmas necessarily involve batch treatment in a closed container. However, flat and flexible surfaces, such as sheet materials and textile fabrics, can be treated at atmospheric pressure if they are passed through narrow slits into a zone where a suitable gas is introduced.
We have such a machine from Sigma Technologies International that can process fabrics, up to 500mm in width, using various gases in a glow discharge.
Senior Research Fellow
Dr Weiwei Lei
+61 3 5227 2881