Nonequilibrium (Te≫Tion,gas) plasma processing often allows for greater process control with reduced environmental impact when compared to other materials processing methods, and therefore presents tremendous opportunities in the areas of thin film development and surface modification. The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's "Large Area Plasma Processing System" (LAPPS) has been developed based on the high-energy (2 keV) electron-beam ionization process, with the goal of maximizing the benefits of plasma processing over large areas (∼1 m2). This system has been shown to be: 1) efficient at producing plasma in any gas composition; 2) capable of producing low-temperature plasma electrons (orientation in TiN films, due to the increased atomic nitrogen ion flux. Polymer pretreatment studies were also initiated in these systems; polytetrafluoroethylene substrates pretreated with an oxygen LAPPS exposure demonstrated a significant increase in copper and aluminum film adhesion compared to untreated substrates, with the dominant factor believed to be the changed surface morphology. Similarly dramatic fluorination of polyethylene was demonstrated with plasmas generated in Ar/SF6 mixtures.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/christopher-muratore/41/