Carbon-based micro-ball and micro-crystal deposition using filamentary pulsed atmospheric pressure plasma

Ramasamy Pothiraja, Nikita Bibinov, Peter Awakowicz

JOURNAL OF PHYSICS D-APPLIED PHYSICS, Volume: 47, Issue: 31, Article Number: 315203, DOI: 10.1088/0022-3727/47/31/315203, Published: AUG 6 2014


Thin plasma filaments are produced by the propagation of ionization waves from a spiked driven electrode in a quartz tube in an argon/methane gas mixture (2400 sccm/2 sccm) at atmospheric pressure. The position of the touch point of filaments on the substrate surface is controlled in our experiment by applying various suitable substrate configurations and geometries of the grounded electrode. The gas conditions at the touch point are varied from argon to ambient air. Based on microphotography and discharge current waveforms, the duration of the filament touching the substrate is estimated to be about one microsecond. Carbon-based materials are deposited during this time at the touch points on the substrate surface. Micro-balls are produced if the filament touch points are saved from ambient air by the argon flow. Under an air admixture, micro-crystals are formed. The dimension of both materials is approximately one micrometre (0.5-2 m) and corresponds to about 10(10)-10(12) carbon atoms. Neither the diffusion of neutral species nor drift of ions can be reason for the formation of such a big micro-material during this short period of filament-substrate interaction. It is possible that charged carbon-based materials are formed in the plasma channel and transported to the surface of the substrate. The mechanism of this transport and characterization of micro-materials, which are formed under different gas conditions in our experiment, will be studied in the future.

Tags: plasma