What is plasma ?
The addition of energy into matter modifies electromagnetic forces, binding atoms together. The state of matter evolves from solid to liquid, then from liquid to gas. Adding even more energy dissociates molecular bonds and may lead to ionization. Gas molecules are split into charged particles, ions and free electrons.
Plasma is often called "the fourth state of matter".
Generating a plasma
AcXys Technologies plasmas are produced by electrical discharge through a gas. Firstly, gas is continuously injected into the plasma generator, then ionized and finally directed towards the surface to be treated.
Controlling the electrical discharge leads to a low temperature plasma coming out of the source. At high processing speeds, treated materials do not have enough time to increase their surface temperature. Heat-sensitive polymers are treated without damage.
Effects on surfaces
Plasma is a continuous supply of a highly reactive chemical species used for treating surfaces. Plasma cleans or activates surfaces.
Activation is the modification of the composition of a surface, resulting in a change of its surface energy. Surface wettability is drastically increased by grafting polar functions. Consequently, it promotes a stronger adhesion for paint, ink, glue or varnish. Plasma activation is a simple process that allows a wide range of improvements.
Thin film coating
Atmospheric pressure plasma is a very efficient process for thin film deposition. Chemical precursor reacts with the plasma and creates a thin film on the substrate.