The last decade has seen an immense amount of research exploring advanced nanofabrication techniques. Many efforts on this front have moved closer to realization of industrially viable nanofabrication, i.e. nanomanufacturing. Plasma-assisted processes have proven to be particularly suitable for nanofabrication due to a non-equilibrium condition that offers high concentration of chemically reactive species at low gas temperatures. Recently, cost-effective atmospheric plasma technologies have been a subject of intense research. The possibility of producing plasma environments at atmospheric pressure similar to those found at low-pressure offer additional advantages for industrial implementation of nanofabrication processes and surface treatment. Atmospheric pressure equates to lower processing cost, higher reaction rates, and increased throughput. An effective way to produce plasmas at atmospheric pressure while maintaining a high degree of process flexibility is to confine them in sub-millimeter cavities, i.e. microplasmas. In this contribution, we have developed atmospheric microplasma systems and their applicability to nanofabrication is being considered. Contemporary research reports that plasma properties in the sub-millimeter range possess peculiar characteristics and a unique chemistry. The experiments described in this thesis aim to investigate these qualities. Discharge properties are examined using current-voltage measurements, optical emission spectroscopy, temperature measurements and optical photography and compared to numerical analysis. Preliminary results on the application of this plasma system to nanofabrication and surface treatment are provided.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Nanostructured materials--Design and construction; Plasma jets; Plasma chemistry--Industrial applications; Nanomanufacturing

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Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Center for Materials Science and Engineering


Mariotti, Davide


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