Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Innovative configuration of inductively coupled gaseous plasma sources for up-scaling to industrial-size reactors

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.09.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Electronic components and technologies   

Code Science Field
P240  Natural sciences and mathematics  Gases, fluid dynamics, plasmas 

Code Science Field
2.02  Engineering and Technology  Electrical engineering, Electronic engineering, Information engineering 
inductively coupled plasma, matching network, innovative coupling, upscalling, H-mode
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (20)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  38195  PhD Žiga Barba  Physics  Researcher  2020  19 
2.  07480  Marjan Drab  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2018 - 2021  67 
3.  38207  PhD Matej Holc  Electronic components and technologies  Junior researcher  2018  20 
4.  28480  PhD Ita Junkar  Medical sciences  Researcher  2018  287 
5.  51483  Blaž Kaplan    Researcher  2019 - 2021 
6.  35588  Urška Kisovec    Technical associate  2018 
7.  24265  PhD Davor Kontić  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2019 - 2020  116 
8.  15703  PhD Janez Kovač  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2018 - 2021  670 
9.  33216  PhD Romana Krištof  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2019 - 2020  48 
10.  10429  PhD Miran Mozetič  Electronic components and technologies  Head  2018 - 2021  1,352 
11.  53284  PhD Marko Petric  Physics  Researcher  2020  29 
12.  06527  Branko Petrič  Electric devices  Researcher  2018 - 2021  23 
13.  33326  PhD Gregor Primc  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2018 - 2021  265 
14.  34451  PhD Nina Recek  Biotechnology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  85 
15.  37482  PhD Matic Resnik  Electronic components and technologies  Junior researcher  2018  52 
16.  31482  Jure Slovša    Technical associate  2018 - 2021 
17.  52497  Maja Šukarov    Technical associate  2019 - 2021 
18.  17622  Janez Trtnik    Technical associate  2018 - 2021  18 
19.  20048  PhD Alenka Vesel  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2018 - 2021  689 
20.  31618  PhD Rok Zaplotnik  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2018 - 2021  303 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  90,649 
2.  2341  INDUKTIO L.t.d.  Ljubljana  1840711  23 
3.  3522  VACUTECH, vakuumske tehnologije in sistemi d.o.o. (Slovene)  Ljubljana  1554824  67 
The coupling between radio-frequency (RF) generators and inductively coupled gaseous plasma in the predominant H-mode will be studied. An innovative multi-coil system for creating low-pressure gaseous plasma in large reactors suitable for treatment of materials of almost arbitrary shape and large dimensions will be constructed and tested thoroughly. The efficiency of energy transfer from the RF generator to gaseous plasma will be optimized. Plasma characteristics will be studied using a cut-off probe, floating electrical probe, optical emission/absorption spectroscopies (including actinometry and titration) and catalytic probes. Gradients of both charged and neutral reactive gaseous species will be determined in the plasma reactor loaded with different samples. The innovative coupling will be protected with a patent application. The innovative solution will be suitable for upscaling to large-size industrial reactors and will allow the industrial partner (co-financier of this project) enter the niche of custom-made plasma systems. Such plasma systems are characterized by very high added value and will be useful for advanced plasma technologies such as nano-structuring of carbon-containing materials for future applications in electro-chemistry, particularly for automotive industry.
Significance for science
The following scientific achievements (which, to the best of our knowledge, has not been published yet, are foreseen to contribute to the understanding of basic phenomena in inductively coupling of RF power to gaseous plasma:   1. Behavior of cut-off probes in plasma of molecular gases at moderate pressure. This technique is not frequently used for plasma diagnostics, but performs well in ICP at moderate pressure where most other probes fail. A comprehensive introduction to cut-off probes was published as Hyun-Su Jun, Diagnostics principle of microwave cut-off probe for measuring absolute electron density, Physics of Plasmas 21, 084503 (2014); doi: 10.1063/1.4892943. Recently, some considerations have been published as Valery Godyak, Comments on plasma diagnostics with microwave probes, Physics of Plasmas 24, 060702 (2017); doi: 10.1063/1.4984781. See citations in these two papers for details. To the best of our knowledge, we shall pioneer application of cut-off for characterization of plasma created in molecular gases at moderate pressure. It is a rather simple, reliable and reasonably priced (once you own the network analyzer) technique for measurement of electron density in weakly and moderately ionized plasmas. The modern network analyzers operate beyond 100 GHz so the cut-off frequency can be determined even in plasma of electron density above 1E19m-3.   2. Behavior of neutral atom densities at the edges of ICPs and in the vicinity of materials that have high coefficient for heterogeneous surface recombination of atoms to molecules. As mentioned in the description of this project, a material of particular interest is carbon nanowalls. This material exhibits extremely high recombination coefficients since the atoms are trapped in the graphene sheets network due to the fact that the distance between neighboring nanowalls is well below the mean free path of atoms in the range of pressures important for this projects. For details see our paper M. Mozetič et al, Oxygen atom loss coefficient of carbon nanowalls, Applied Surface Science (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apsusc.2015.02.020. Extremely strong gradients in atom densities are expected and will be measured rather accurately with excellent space resolution using our differentially pumped laser powered catalytic probes. The probes have been validated by York University (see the list of collaborating organizations under 3. of this proposal.
Significance for the country
As already mentioned, the key motivation for the research planned within this project is the attempt of Slovenian industry to enter the niche of custom-design plasma reactor suitable for rapid deposition of vertically oriented graphene sheets, preferably in the continuous mode. The Japanese company Toyota (based in Nagoya) is interesting in implementing this method on industrial level. An NDA (non-disclosure agreement) has been signed with Nagoya University (Sekine-Hori laboratory). This laboratory is probably the leading worldwide in the field of carbon nanowalls and has strong ties with Toyota. We have signed the NDA with this group to develop together a technology for rapid deposition of carbon nanowalls on substrates which are preferably infinitely long and of width about 25 cm. A contract about sharing the benefits has been negotiated thoroughly and signed in early 2018. The corresponding patent application has been filled (it is not yet available in the database so we cannot refer to this patent under 9,.1. Economic, social or cultural Achievements). The contract assures Jozef Stefan Institute 80% share in any benefits and represents a real challenge for Slovenian (European) science and industry. Before developing the production line, however, we have to solve scientific problems encountered in upscaling of technology. Solving these scientific problems is the major objective of the proposed project. If successful we are facing an opportunity to become the leading group worldwide providing methods and reactors for rapid nano-structuring of carbon materials suitable for mass production of graphene-based electro-catalysers.
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