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Plasma Process Technology

The expertise of the Plasma Process Technology Department consists of synthesis and modification of catalytically active surfaces, materials for energy storage / energy transformation, sensor technology, chemical synthesis, and cleaning processes/preparation processes. Suitable technologies are necessary for implementation of broad application areas, especially for equipping components for systems of these applications with chemical, electrochemically and photochemically effective function elements. Here plasma technology offers a variety of approaches.

For this, synthesis methods using PVD processes (physical vapour deposition) such as magnetron sputtering, plasma ion assisted deposition (plasma ion assisted deposition - PIAD), plasma propylroysis and PECVD procedures (plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition), as well as their combinations are developed. In addition to these vacuum-based methods, plasma processes in liquids are also used for generation of carbon or graphene-containing materials. Extensive analytical equipment for characterization of the nanostructure, morphology, crystal structure, porosity, chemical composition, optical, electrochemical and photochemical characteristics is available for development of efficient function elements. In this regard the synthesis of catalysts for fuel cells and electrolyzers, photochemical water fission, the linking of catalysts on solid carriers, generation of semiconductor materials, and photosensitive layers for photovoltaic systems, batteries, chemical, and electrochemical sensors or water desalination and water purification, are of particular interest. 

Technological equipment

Six vacuum receiving tanks with 2 and 3 plasma sources for deposition of

  • Metal oxide layers, e.g. semiconducting layers such as TiO2, WO3
  • Carbon-metal nano hybrid layers, e.g.: C-Pt
  • Metal-metal nano hybrid layers, e.g. Pt-Co
  • Metal/metal oxide polymer composite layers e.g.: Co2O3 HMDSO plasma/plasma polymers
  • Metal-polymer complex layers, e.g.: Co-Polypyrrol

PIAD vacuum-coating system, M 900

  • Rotary drum reactor, HF excitation or microwave excitation, vacuum process: Activation or coating (PECVD) of bulk goods
  • Downer reactor, microwave excitation, vacuum process: Pyrolysis of bulk goods
  • Plasmas in liquids, pulse discharges, e.g.: synthesis of nano-scaled graphene-supported metal oxide particles
  • Keyence digital microscope: 2D and 3D photos of up to 1000x magnification 
  • BET sorption measurement, Quantachrome NOVA 2000: Determination of the specific surface of solids through nitrogen adsorption. 
  • FTIR spectrometer: Bruker VERTEX 70v: digital FTIR vacuum spectrometer for measurements in the MIR range (8000 to 350 cm-1) and FIR range (600 to 50 cm-1) with grazing reflection unit, ATR unit for both spectral ranges, and variable reflection unit 
  • MasterSizer 2000 from Malvern Instruments: Measurements of grain size distribution of powders in the range from 20 nm to 2 mm; supplemental functions: Specific Surface Area, Surface Weighted Mean D[3,2], Vol. Weighted Mean D[4,3], d (0.1), d (0.5), d (0.9) 
  • Bruker D8 Advance x-ray diffractometer with high-resolution LYNXEYE detector: X-ray diffractometry (XRD) on polycrystalline layers and powders for identification of crystal phases and crystal size determination. X-ray reflectometry (XRR) for determination of layer thickness and roughness. Rietveld analysis 
  • Scanning electron microscopy/EDX, Joel (Germany) GmbH, in addition transverse-section polisher, IB-09010CP, Joel (Germany) GmbH: Transverse-section polishing device for generating ultra-smooth surfaces that cannot be mechanically polished. Polishing transverse section
  • PerkinElmer Lambda 850 UV/Vis Spectrophotometer with L6020322 150 mm integrated sphere measurement of transmission, scatter and reflection in the range between 250 nm and 850 nm. For high reflectivity in the interior of the spheres, calibrated Spectralon Reflectance Standards (99% R, USRS-99-020, Perkin-Elmer Inc.) are used. 
  • µ-Autolab 2 potentiostat, electrochemical measurements (cyclical voltammetry, chrono-amperometry, chronopotentiometry, catalytic activity) incl. use as RDE with Metrohm Rotator 
  • Autolab Bipotentiostat  302N, electrochemical activity measurements (cyclic voltammetry chronoamperometry, chronopotentiometry, catalytic activity, impedance) with two work electrodes for use as RRDE with PINE rotator at controlled temperature and supply of different gases (O2, N2, H2, CH4) 
  • ATV in-line-4-point probe with Keithley 2400 Sourcemeter, measurement of the specific electrical resistance of surfaces and thin layers according to the 4-point method. Special contact geometry for soft layers. 
  • Im6e potentiostat, Zahner GmbH, electrochemical characterization via voltammetry/amperomety/EIS measurements from 10mHz-8 MHz. Fumigation electrochemical cells
  • PCS photoelectrochemical Photo Current Spectra System, Zahner GmbH, photoelectrochemical measurement for determination of the photo current and photo efficiency between 420 und 750 nm 
  • CIMPS Fast Light Intensity Transient System, Zahner GmbH, photochemical measurement for determination of photocurrent and photovoltage, diffusion coefficients, diffusion length and service life of light-induced charge carriers in semi conductors.
  • COLT Coating and Laminate Tester, Zahner GmbH, AC-DC-AC tests on coatings and laminations, comparative EIS measurements for determination of layer quality and stability. Corrosion tests and delamination tests