Processing Plasmas and Diagnostics

Plasmas are powerful tools for creating and modifying materials. Plasmas contain electrons and ions and these can be used to sputter materials from a target to form a thin film coating, to bombard a surface to modify its properties, or to break down a precursor gas into reactive species that deposit onto or form polymers on a surface. Highly ionized plasmas provide the capability to control the energy brought to the surface by the ions using electric fields and thus to control the microstructure and phases which form. We are exploring ways of increasing the ionized flux in processing plasmas and of characterizing the degrees of ionization and energies of the ions.
Specific projects include: