Formation and behaviour of plasma spots on the surface of titanium film

Hermanns, P. and Kogelheide, F. and Bracht, V. and Ries, S. and Krüger, F. and Böddeker, S. and Bibinov, N. and Awakowicz, P.

Volume: 54 Pages:
DOI: 10.1088/1361-6463/abc37e
Published: 2020

Numerous studies have shown that dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) and DBD-like plasma jets interact with a treated surface in a complex manner. Eroded traces after treatment cannot be explained by conventional plasma-surface interaction theory. The mechanisms of a controlled formation of these plasma objects is still unclear. In this work, the authors show that the formation rate and characteristics of eroded traces, treating a titanium surface, can be controlled by process design and the combination of materials used. A thin (0.45 μm) layer of titanium film is deposited onto a glass substrate and is then treated in the effluent of a non-equilibrium atmospheric pressure plasma jet (N-APPJ) operated with argon or krypton flow. Plasma spots with diameters ranging from 100-700 μm are observed using an intensified digital camera on the titanium film surface. These plasma objects are strongly inhomogeneous, forming a core with a very high current density and leave erosion holes with diameters of about 1 μm. By using krypton as a working gas, effective erosion of the titanium substrate can be shown, whereas by using argon no traces are detected. For the latter case, traces can be provoked by deposition of a thin aluminum layer on top of the titanium substrate, by creation of artificial scratches or by an additional swirling flow around the discharge. Based on the experimental results presented in this and previous papers, it is assumed that plasma spots with dense cores are produced by an interaction of micro-vortices within the plasma channel and by the formation of an extremely high axial magnetic field. This assumption is confirmed by destruction of the treated surface material, extraction of paramagnetic atoms and toroidal substrate heating, which is most likely caused by a helical current of the plasma spot. © 2020 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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