Recent progress on non-thermal plasma technology for high barrier layer fabrication Hot!
This review describes the application of non-thermal plasma (NTP) technology for high barrier layer fabrication in packaging area. NTP technology is considered to be the most prospective approaches for the barrier layer fabrication over the past decades due to unpollution, high speed, low-costing. The applications of NTP technology have achieved numerous exciting results in high barrier packaging area. Now it seemly demands a detailed review to summarize the past works and direct the future developments. This review focuses on the different NTP resources applied in the high barrier area, the role of plasma surface modification on packaging film surface properties, and the deposition of different barrier coatings based on NTP technology. In particular, this review emphasizes the cutting-edge technologies of NTP on interlayer deposition with organic, inorganic for multilayer barriers fabrication. The future prospects of NTP technology in high barrier film areas are also described.
Combined Langmuir-magnetic probe measurements of type-I ELMy filaments in the EAST tokamak
Detailed investigations on the filamentary structures associated with the type-I edge-localized modes (ELMs) should be helpful for protecting the materials of a plasma-facing wall on a future large device. Related experiments have been carefully conducted in the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) using combined Langmuir-magnetic probes. The experimental results indicate that the radially outward velocity of type-I ELMy filaments can be up to 1.7 km s-1 in the far scrape-off layer (SOL) region. It is remarkable that the electron temperature of these filaments is detected to be ～50 eV, corresponding to a fraction of 1/6 to the temperature near the pedestal top, while the density (~3 ×10 19 m -3) of these filaments could be approximate to the line-averaged density. In addition, associated magnetic fluctuations have been clearly observed at the same time, which show good agreement with the density perturbations. A localized current on the order of ～100 kA could be estimated within the filaments.
Influence of impurity seeding on the plasma radiation in the EAST tokamak
Plasma radiation characteristics in EAST argon (Ar) gas and neon (Ne) gas seeding experiments are studied. The radiation profiles reconstructed from the fast bolometer measurement data by tomography method are compared with the ones got from the simulation program based on corona model. And the simulation results coincide roughly with the experimental data. For Ar seeding discharges, the substantial enhanced radiations can be generally observed in the edge areas at normalized radius ρpol～0.7–0.9, while the enhanced regions are more outer for Ne seeding discharges. The influence of seeded Ar gas on the core radiation is related to the injected position. In discharges with LSN divertor configuration, the Ar ions can permeate into the core region more easily when being injected from the opposite upper divertor ports. In USN divertor configuration, the W impurity sputtered from the upper divertor target plates are observed to be an important contributor to the increase of the core radiation no matter impurity seeding from any ports. The maximum radiated power fractions frad (Prad/Pheat) about 60%–70% have been achieved in the recent EAST experimental campaign in 2015–2016.
Kinetic equilibrium reconstruction for the NBI-and ICRH-heated H-mode plasma on EAST tokamak
The equilibrium reconstruction is important to study the tokamak plasma physical processes. To analyze the contribution of fast ions to the equilibrium, the kinetic equilibria at two time-slices in a typical H-mode discharge with different auxiliary heatings are reconstructed by using magnetic diagnostics, kinetic diagnostics and TRANSP code. It is found that the fast-ion pressure might be up to one-third of the plasma pressure and the contribution is mainly in the core plasma due to the neutral beam injection power is primarily deposited in the core region. The fast-ion current contributes mainly in the core region while contributes little to the pedestal current. A steep pressure gradient in the pedestal is observed which gives rise to a strong edge current. It is proved that the fast ion effects cannot be ignored and should be considered in the future study of EAST.
Calculation and characteristic analysis on synergistic effect of CF3I gas mixtures
CF3I is a potential SF6 alternative gas. In order to study the insulation properties and synergistic effects of CF3I/N2 and CF3I/CO2 gas mixtures, two-term approximate Boltzmann equations were used to obtain the ionization coefficient α, attachment coefficient η and the critical equivalent electrical field strength (E/N)cr. The results show that the (E/N)cr of CF3I gas at 300 K is 1.2 times that of SF6 gas, and CF3I/N2 and CF3I/CO2 gas mixtures both have synergistic effect occurred. The synergistic effect coefficient of CF3I/CO2 gas mixture was higher than that of CF3I/N2 gas mixture. But the (E/N)cr of CF3I/N2 is higher than that of CF3I/CO2 under the same conditions. When the content of CF3I exceeds 20%, the (E/N)cr of CF3I/N2 and CF3I/CO2 gas mixture increase linearly with the increasing of CF3I gas content. The breakdown voltage of CF3I/N2 gas mixture is also higher than that of CF3I/CO2 gas mixture in slightly non-uniform electrical field under power frequency voltage, but the synergistic effect coefficients of the two gas mixtures are basically the same.
Plasma characteristics of direct current enhanced cylindrical inductively coupled plasma source
Experimental results of a direct current enhanced inductively coupled plasma (DCE-ICP) source which consists of a typical cylindrical ICP source and a plate-to-grid DC electrode are reported. With the use of this new source, the plasma characteristic parameters, namely, electron density, electron temperature and plasma uniformity, are measured by Langmuir floating double probe. It is found that DC discharge enhances the electron density and decreases the electron temperature, dramatically. Moreover, the plasma uniformity is obviously improved with the operation of DC and radio frequency (RF) hybrid discharge. Furthermore, the nonlinear enhancement effect of electron density with DC+RF hybrid discharge is confirmed. The presented observation indicates that the DCE-ICP source provides an effective method to obtain high-density uniform plasma, which is desirable for practical industrial applications.
High power impulse magnetron sputtering and its applications Hot!
High power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) has attracted a great deal of attention because the sputtered material is highly ionized during the coating process, which has been demonstrated to be advantageous for better quality coating. Therefore, the mechanism of the HiPIMS technique has recently been investigated. In this paper, the current knowledge of HiPIMS is described. We focus on the mechanical properties of the deposited thin film in the latest applications, including hard coatings, adhesion enhancement, tribological performance, and corrosion protection layers. A description of the electrical, optical, photocatalytic, and functional coating applications are presented. The prospects for HiPIMS are also discussed in this work.
Understanding CO2 decomposition by thermal plasma with supersonic expansion quench
CO2 pyrolysis by thermal plasma was investigated, and a high conversion rate of 33% and energy efficiency of 17% were obtained. The high performance benefited from a novel quenching method, which synergizes the converging nozzle and cooling tube. To understand the synergy effect, a computational fluid dynamics simulation was carried out. A quick quenching rate of 107 Ks−1 could be expected when the pyrolysis gas temperature decreased from more than 3000 to 1000 K. According to the simulation results, the quenching mechanism was discussed as follows: first, the compressible fluid was adiabatically expanded in the converging nozzle and accelerated to sonic speed, and parts of the heat energy converted to convective kinetic energy; second, the sonic fluid jet into the cooling tube formed a strong eddy, which greatly enhanced the heat transfer between the inverse-flowing fluid and cooling tube. These two mechanisms ensure a quick quenching to prevent the reverse reaction of CO2 pyrolysis gas when it flows out from the thermal plasma reactor.
Study of plasma-based stable and ultra-wideband electromagnetic wave absorption for stealth application
A plasma-based stable, ultra-wideband electromagnetic (EM) wave absorber structure is studied in this paper for stealth applications. The stability is maintained by a multi-layer structure with several plasma layers and dielectric layers distributed alternately. The plasma in each plasma layer is designed to be uniform, whereas it has a discrete nonuniform distribution from the overall view of the structure. The nonuniform distribution of the plasma is the key to obtaining ultra-wideband wave absorption. A discrete Epstein distribution model is put forward to constrain the nonuniform electron density of the plasma layers, by which the wave absorption range is extended to the ultra-wideband. Then, the scattering matrix method (SMM) is employed to analyze the electromagnetic reflection and absorption of the absorber structure. In the simulation, the validation of the proposed structure and model in ultra-wideband EM wave absorption is first illustrated by comparing the nonuniform plasma model with the uniform case. Then, the influence of various parameters on the EM wave reflection of the plasma are simulated and analyzed in detail, verifying the EM wave absorption performance of the absorber. The proposed structure and model are expected to be superior in some realistic applications, such as supersonic aircraft.
Influence of dielectric barrier discharge treatment on mechanical and dyeing properties of wool
Physical and chemical properties of wool surface significantly affect the absorbency, rate of dye bath exhaustion and flxation of the industrial dyes. Hence, surface modification is a necessary operation prior to coloration process in wool wet processing industries. Plasma treatment is an effective alternative for physiochemical modification of wool surface. However, optimum processing parameters to get the expected modification are still under investigation, hence this technology is still under development in the wool wet processing industries. Therefore, in this paper, treatment parameters with the help of simple dielectric barrier discharge plasma reactor and air as a plasma gas, which could be a promising combination for treatment of wool substrate at industrial scale were schematically studied, and their influence on the water absorbency, mechanical, and dyeing properties of twill woven wool fabric samples are reported. It is expected that the results will assist to the wool coloration industries to improve the dyeing processes.
Cluster analysis of polymers using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy with K-means
Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) combined with K-means algorithm was employed to automatically differentiate industrial polymers under atmospheric conditions. The unsupervised learning algorithm K-means were utilized for the clustering of LIBS dataset measured from twenty kinds of industrial polymers. To prevent the interference from metallic elements, three atomic emission lines (C I 247.86 nm , H I 656.3 nm, and O I 777.3 nm) and one molecular line C–N (0, 0) 388.3 nm were used. The cluster analysis results were obtained through an iterative process. The Davies–Bouldin index was employed to determine the initial number of clusters. The average relative standard deviation values of characteristic spectral lines were used as the iterative criterion. With the proposed approach, the classification accuracy for twenty kinds of industrial polymers achieved 99.6%. The results demonstrated that this approach has great potential for industrial polymers recycling by LIBS.
Effect of inductively coupled plasma surface treatment on silica gel and mesoporous MCM-41 particles
Silica gel and MCM-41 synthesized mesoporous materials were treated with either oxygen (O2), hexamethyldisiloxane (HMDSO) and organic vapors like ethanol (EtOH), and acrylonitrile (AN) inductive plasma. The radiofrequency power for the modification was fixed to 120 W and 30 min, assuring a high degree of organic ionization energy in the plasma. The surface properties were studied by infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering technique was used for characterizing size distributions. When the silica and MCM-41 particles were modified by AN and HMDSO plasma gases, the surface morphology of the particles was changed, presenting another color, size or shape. In contrast, the treatments of oxygen and EtOH did not affect the surface morphology of both particles, but increased the oxygen content at the surface bigger than the AN and HMDSO plasma treatments. In this study, we investigated the influence of different plasma treatments on changes in morphology and the chemical composition of the modified particles which render them a possible new adsorbent for utilization in sorptive extraction techniques for polar compounds.
Effect of actuating voltage and discharge gap on plasma assisted detonation initiation process
The influence of actuating voltage and discharge gap on plasma assisted detonation initiation by alternating current dielectric barrier discharge was studied in detail. A loose coupling method was used to simulate the detonation initiation process of a hydrogen–oxygen mixture in a detonation tube under different actuating voltage amplitudes and discharge gap sizes. Both the discharge products and the detonation forming process assisted by the plasma were analyzed. It was found that the patterns of the temporal and spatial distributions of discharge products in one cycle keep unchanged as changing the two discharge operating parameters. However, the adoption of a higher actuating voltage leads to a higher active species concentration within the discharge zone, and atom H is the most sensitive to the variations of the actuating voltage amplitude among the given species. Adopting a larger discharge gap results in a lower concentration of the active species, and all species have the same sensitivity to the variations of the gap. With respect to the reaction flow of the detonation tube, the corresponding deflagration to detonation transition (DDT) time and distance become slightly longer when a higher actuating voltage is chosen. The acceleration effect of plasma is more prominent with a smaller discharge gap, and the benefit builds gradually throughout the DDT process. Generally, these two control parameters have little effect on the amplitude of the flow field parameters, and they do not alter the combustion degree within the reaction zone.
Study on deposition of Al2O3 films by plasma-assisted atomic layer with different plasma sources
In this paper, Al2O3 thin films are deposited on a hydrogen-terminated Si substrate by using two home-built electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) and magnetic field enhanced radio frequency plasma-assisted atomic layer deposition (PA-ALD) devices with Al(CH3)3 (trimethylaluminum, TMA) and oxygen plasma used as precursor and oxidant, respectively. The thickness, chemical composition, surface morphology and group reactions are characterized by in situ spectroscopic ellipsometer, x-ray photoelectric spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, a high-resolution transmission electron microscope and in situ mass spectrometry (MS), respectively. We obtain that both ECR PA-ALD and the magnetic field enhanced PAALD can deposit thin films with high density, high purity, and uniformity at a high deposition rate. MS analysis reveals that the Al2O3 deposition reactions are not simple reactions between TMA and oxygen plasma to produce alumina, water and carbon dioxide. In fact, acetylene, carbon monoxide and some other by-products also appear in the exhaustion gas. In addition, the presence of bias voltage has a certain effect on the deposition rate and surface morphology of films, which may be attributed to the presence of bias voltage controlling the plasma energy and density. We conclude that both plasma sources have a different deposition mechanism, which is much more complicated than expected.
Study on the influence of three-grid assembly thermal deformation on breakdown times and an ion extraction process
In order to study the influence of three-grid assembly thermal deformation caused by heat accumulation on breakdown times and an ion extraction process, a hot gap test and a breakdown time test are carried out to obtain thermal deformation of the grids when the thruster is in 5 kW operation mode.Meanwhile,the fluid simulation method and particle-in-cell-Monte Carlo collision (PICMCC) method are adopted to simulate the ion extraction process according to the previous test results. The numerical calculation results are verified by the ion thruster performance test. The results show that after about 1.2 h operation, the hot gap between the screen grid and the accelerator grid reduce to 0.25–0.3 mm, while the hot gap between the accelerator grid and the decelerator grid increase from 1 mm to about 1.4 mm when the grids reach thermal equilibrium, and the hot gap is almost unchanged. In addition, the breakdown times experiment shows that 0.26 mm is the minimal safe hot gap for the grid assembly as the breakdown times improves significantly when the gap is smaller than this value. Fluid simulation results show that the plasma density of the screen grid is in the range 6×1017 – 6×1018 m13 and displays a parabolic characteristic, while the electron temperature gradually increases along the axial direction. The PIC-MCC results show that the current falling of an ion beam through a single aperture is significant. Meanwhile, the intercepted current of the accelerator grid and the decelerator grid both increase with the change in the hot gap. The ion beam current has optimal perveance status without thermal deformation, and the intercepted current of the accelerator grid and the decelerator grid are 3.65 mA and 6.26 mA, respectively. Furthermore, under the effect of thermal deformation, the ion beam current has over-perveance status, and the intercepted current of the accelerator grid and the decelerator grid are 10.46 mA and 18.24 mA, respectively. Performance test results indicate that the breakdown times increase obviously. The intercepted current of the accelerator grid and the decelerator grid increases to 13 mA and 16.5 mA, respectively, due to the change in the hot gap after 1.5 h operation. The numerical calculation results are well consistent with performance test results, and the error comes mainly from the test uncertainty of the hot gap.
Improvement of β-phase crystal formation in a BaTiO3-modified PVDF membrane
In this paper, low temperature plasma is used to modify the surface of barium titanate (BaTiO3) nanoparticles in order to enhance the interfacial compatibility between ferroelectric poly (vinylidene fluoride)(PVDF)and BaTiO3 nanoparticles. The results demonstrate that oxygenic groups are successfully attached to the BaTiO3 surface, and the quantity of the functional groups increases with the treatment voltage. Furthermore, the effect of modified BaTiO3 nanoparticles on the morphology and crystal structure of the PVDF/BaTiO3 membrane is investigated. The results reveal that the dispersion of BaTiO3 nanoparticles in the PVDF matrix was greatly improved due to the modification of the BaTiO3 nanoparticles by air plasma. It is worth noting that the formation of a β-phase in a PVDF/modified BaTiO3 membrane is observably promoted, which results from the strong interaction between PVDF chains and oxygenic groups fixed on the BaTiO3 surface and the better dispersion of BaTiO3 nanoparticles in the PVDF matrix. Besides, the PVDF/modified BaTiO3 membrane at the treatment voltage of 24 kV exhibits a lower water contact angle (≈68.4°)compared with the unmodified one (≈86.7°). Meanwhile, the dielectric constant of PVDF/BaTiO3 nanocomposites increases with the increase of working voltage.
Numerical and experimental investigation of plasma plume deflection with MHD flow control
This paper presents a composite magneto hydrodynamics (MHD) method to control the low-temperature micro-ionized plasma flow generated by injecting alkali salt into the combustion gas to realize the thrust vector of an aeroengine. The principle of plasma flow with MHD control is analyzed. The feasibility of plasma jet deflection is investigated using numerical simulation with MHD control by loading the User-Defined Function model. A test rig with plasma flow controlled by MHD is established. An alkali salt compound with a low ionization energy is injected into combustion gas to obtain the low-temperature plasma flow. Finally, plasma plume deflection is obtained in different working conditions. The results demonstrate that plasma plume deflection with MHD control can be realized via numerical simulation. A low-temperature plasma flow can be obtained by injecting an alkali metal salt compound with low ionization energy into a combustion gas at 1800–2500 K. The vector angle of plasma plume deflection increases with the increase of gas temperature and the magnetic field intensity. It is feasible to realize the aim of the thrust vector of aeroengine by using MHD to control plasma flow deflection.
Applying chemical engineering concepts to non-thermal plasma reactors Hot!
Process scale-up remains a considerable challenge for environmental applications of non-thermal plasmas. Undersanding the impact of reactor hydrodynamics in the performance of the process is a key step to overcome this challenge. In this work, we apply chemical engineering concepts to analyse the impact that different non-thermal plasma reactor configurations and regimes, such as laminar or plug flow, may have on the reactor performance. We do this in the particular context of the removal of pollutants by non-thermal plasmas, for which a simplified model is available. We generalise this model to different reactor configurations and, under certain hypotheses, we show that a reactor in the laminar regime may have a behaviour significantly different from one in the plug flow regime, often assumed in the non-thermal plasma literature. On the other hand, we show that a packed-bed reactor behaves very similarly to one in the plug flow regime. Beyond those results, the reader will find in this work a quick introduction to chemical reaction engineering concepts.
Control of multidrug-resistant planktonic Acinetobacter baumannii: biocidal efficacy study by atmospheric-pressure air plasma
In this research, an atmospheric-pressure air plasma is used to inactivate the multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in liquid. The efficacy of the air plasma on bacterial deactivation and the cytobiological variations after the plasma treatment are investigated. According to colony forming units, nearly all the bacteria (6-log) are inactivated after 10 min of air plasma treatment. However, 7% of the bacteria enter a viable but non-culturable state detected by the resazurin based assay during the same period of plasma exposure. Meanwhile, 86% of the bacteria lose their membrane integrity in the light of SYTO 9/PI staining assay. The morphological changes in the cells are examined by scanning electron microscopy and bacteria with morphological changes are rare after plasma exposure in the liquid. The concentrations of the long-living RS, such as H2O2, NO3- ,and O3, in liquid induced by plasma treatment are measured, and they increase with plasma treatment time. The changes of the intracellular ROS may be related to cell death, which may be attributed to oxidative stress and other damage effects induced by RS plasma generated in liquid. The rapid and effective bacteria inactivation may stem from the RS in the liquid generated by plasma and air plasmas may become a valuable therapy in the treatment of infected wounds.
Research on the phase adjustment method for dispersion interferometer on HL-2A tokamak
A synchronous demodulation system is proposed and deployed for CO2 dispersion interferometer on HL-2A, which aims at high plasma density measurements and real-time feedback control. In order to make sure that the demodulator and the interferometer signal are synchronous in phase, a phase adjustment (PA) method has been developed for the demodulation system. The method takes advantages of the field programmable gate array parallel and pipeline process capabilities to carry out high performance and low latency PA. Some experimental results presented show that the PA method is crucial to the synchronous demodulation system and reliable to follow the fast change of the electron density. The system can measure the line-integrated density with a high precision of 2.0×1018 m−2.
Activation characteristics of candidate structural materials for a near-term Indian fusion reactor and the impact of their impurities on design considerations
Activation analyses play a vital role in nuclear reactor design. Activation analyses, along with nuclear analyses, provide important information for nuclear safety and maintenance strategies. Activation analyses also help in the selection of materials for a nuclear reactor, by providing the radioactivity and dose rate levels after irradiation. This information is important to help define maintenance activity for different parts of the reactor, and to plan decommissioning and radioactive waste disposal strategies. The study of activation analyses of candidate structural materials for near-term fusion reactors or ITER is equally essential, due to the presence of a high-energy neutron environment which makes decisive demands on material selection. This study comprises two parts; in the first part the activation characteristics, in a fusion radiation environment, of several elements which are widely present in structural materials, are studied. It reveals that the presence of a few specific elements in a material can diminish its feasibility for use in the nuclear environment. The second part of the study concentrates on activation analyses of candidate structural materials for near-term fusion reactors and their comparison in fusion radiation conditions. The structural materials selected for this study, i.e. India-specific Reduced Activation Ferritic-Martensitic steel (IN-RAFMS), P91-grade steel, stainless steel 316LN ITER-grade (SS-316LN-IG), stainless steel 316L and stainless steel 304, are candidates for use in ITER either in vessel components or test blanket systems. Tungsten is also included in this study because of its use for ITER plasma-facing components. The study is carried out using the reference parameters of the ITER fusion reactor. The activation characteristics of the materials are assessed considering the irradiation at an ITER equatorial port. The presence of elements like Nb, Mo, Co and Ta in a structural material enhance the activity level as well as the dose level, which has an impact on design considerations. IN-RAFMS was shown to be a more effective low-activation material than SS-316LN-IG.
A novel digital neutron flux monitor for international thermonuclear experimental reactor
A novel full-digital real-time neutron flux monitor (NFM) has been developed for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. A measurement range of 109 counts per second is achieved with 3 different sensitive fission chambers. The Counting mode and Campbelling mode have been combined as a means to achieve higher measurement range. The system is based on high speed as well as parallel and pipeline processing of the field programmable gate array and has the ability to upload raw-data of analog-to-digital converter in real-time through the PXIe platform. With the advantages of the measurement range, real time performance and the ability of raw-data uploading, the digital NFM has been tested in HL-2A experiments and reflected good experimental performance.
Design optimization of first wall and breeder unit module size for the Indian HCCB blanket module
The Indian test blanket module (TBM) program in ITER is one of the major steps in the Indian fusion reactor program for carrying out the R&D activities in the critical areas like design of tritium breeding blankets relevant to future Indian fusion devices (ITER relevant and DEMO). The Indian Lead–Lithium Cooled Ceramic Breeder (LLCB) blanket concept is one of the Indian DEMO relevant TBM, to be tested in ITER as a part of the TBM program. Helium-Cooled Ceramic Breeder (HCCB) is an alternative blanket concept that consists of lithium titanate (Li2TiO3) as ceramic breeder (CB) material in the form of packed pebble beds and beryllium as the neutron multiplier. Specifically, attentions are given to the optimization of first wall coolant channel design and size of breeder unit module considering coolant pressure and thermal loads for the proposed Indian HCCB blanket based on ITER relevant TBM and loading conditions. These analyses will help proceeding further in designing blankets for loads relevant to the future fusion device.