What is plasma?
Plasma is an ionized gas, known as the fourth state of matter. It constitutes more than 99% of the visible universe and is present in nature: nebulae, stars, aurora borealis, lightning are just some examples of plasmas in our universe.
It is possible to pass from the solid state to the liquid state and then to the gaseous state by supplying energy. Continuing to supply energy it is possible to ionize a gas (that is, to strip the electrons from the atoms that make up the gas) and obtain plasma, a medium rich in charged particles, ions, electrons and radicals and therefore particularly reactive, ready to interact with the materials with whom it comes in contact.
Nadir Plasma is a cold plasma at atmospheric pressure that uses a proprietary Dual Frequency ignition system, whose patent has now been granted in the main world countries. It is generated by the ionization of a noble gas (argon) by applying a high voltage, and it is transformed into a plasma with “glow” characteristics, thanks to the use of coupled radio frequency at 27MHz. A double dielectric material separates the plasma from the electrodes, in order to avoid the formation of electric arcs and the erosion of the electrode itself, thus resulting cold and clean, therefore also suitable for the surface treatment of the most delicate materials. Furthermore, a wide range of chemical precursors can be introduced into the plasma to produce functional thin films and coatings, without these being destroyed by the presence of electric arcs. Nadir Plasma is small in size and flexible, suitable for both research and automated production lines.
< 40 °C
Plasma temperature at the surface
> 60 mN/m
Surface energy after few seconds of plasma treatment
Plasma efficiency with only
What are the advantages
Nadir Plasma is generated in Dual Frequency mode and powered by radio frequency. This feature makes it unique in its kind, and means that the temperature of the treated surfaces can also be lower than 40°C.
The erosion of the electrodes, caused by most of the arc plasmas on the market, produces a particulate that contaminates the surfaces. Nadir Plasma is generated with DBD geometry inside a ceramic material, resulting clean and respectful of the treated surfaces.
As it does not produce an electric arc, and working at radio frequency, a few tens of Watts are good enough to generate and sustain a dense plasma rich in active species.
The advantages of Plasma Enanched Chemical Vapor Depostion vacuum technology are reproduced in Nadir Plasma. It is possible to obtain chemical functionalizations and nano-coating at atmospheric pressure, reducing times and costs of vacuum technologies.
What are the applications?
Thanks to the Dual Frequency technology, Nadir plasma is particularly suitable for the surface treatment of materials and devices intended for the biomedical sector. It is used for the cleaning and decontamination of surfaces and systems. It increases the wettability of materials and favors the drafting of biological liquids. In the assembly processes of medical devices it improves the adhesion between materials, while in the surface finishing processes it gives different properties: hydrophobic, hydrophilic, anti-thrombogenic, etc.
It is used in the Life Science and Tissue Engineering sector to improve the interaction of materials with stem cells, while its use on liquids and hydrogels allows the formation and conservation of active species of oxygen and nitrogen which are widely studied today.
The extreme flexibility of Nadir plasma allows it to be easily inserted into any production line, allowing the continuous treatment of different materials such as plastic, metal, leather, fabrics, glass and ceramics.
It is mainly used in cleaning and surface activation processes allowing to improve wettability, over-printability and adhesion with dissimilar materials and glues. Thanks to the use of appropriate chemical precursors, it allows the deposition of thin films with “primer” type functionalities, thus avoiding the use of solvent-based chemical compounds and improving adhesion even in injection molding processes. It is now used in sectors such as: eyewear, footwear, sports systems, electronics and additive manufacturing.
The unique innovative, non-contact cold atmospheric pressure technology designed to meet the needs of the world of restoration and cultural heritage. It was developed within the European project “PANNA” funded by the 7th framework program, which allowed to validate its effectiveness as a surface cleaning tool avoiding the unwanted deposition of metal microparticles, observed during the use of some arc plasmas. The plasma is generated starting from the ionization of a noble gas (argon) which can be added with other reactive gases depending on the process of interest.
By adding oxygen it is possible to generate atomic oxygen, which is very useful for surface removal of organic material. As an alternative, the addition of reducing gases such as hydrogen allows the reduction of metals and the conversion of oxidized layers.
Several research groups from European universities and research centers have chosen to rely on our technology for their studies. The extreme flexibility of the Nadir Plasma Jet makes it one of the most suitable cold atmospheric pressure plasma devices for Scientific Research. Thanks to the proprietary “Dual Frequency” technology, it is supplied with a double generator (HF + RF) which can be controlled in terms of power and in pulsed mode. It allows the introduction of a wide range of chemical precursors, both in vapor and in aerosol form which favors the deposition of functional coatings.
Today it is used in research areas such as tissue engineering and life sciences, but there are also studies in fields such as electronics, photonics and sensors. For a complete list of publications made using our technology, CONTACT US.
Dual frequency Plasma Jet
Bench-top cold atmospheric pressure plasma, easily implementable on production lines and automatable.
Plasma Jet (peripheral unit): the ignition of the plasma takes place inside the peripheral unit in a Double Dielectric Barrier Discharge configuration. The plasma jet is maintained by radio frequency with a power consumption between 10 and 50W, thus obtaining a cold plasma but at the same time rich in active species.
Spot size ≈ 1cm2, useful working distance 2-10 mm. Working gas: argon 4-10 slm, cooling gas: air/nitrogen 8-20 slm, process gas: argon, argon/hydrogen, argon/oxygen, nitrogen.
DF3 unit (control unit): the Plasma Jet is equipped with the new Dual Frequency version 3 control unit. Thanks to an intuitive interface, controlling and adjusting the plasma parameters has never been so simple! A 7″ touch display will guide the user in setting and monitoring gas and power. A 20kHz high voltage generator ignites the plasma, while the jet is then coupled with a 27.12 MHz class E generator. The device is completed by an activation/control RS232 serial port, and an ethernet port for remote control of the device, via VNC or TCP-IP protocol.