Plasma Process Engineering

The Plasma Process Engineering group develops fundamental and technological expertise in the area of process engineering for advanced surfaces coatings. The group focuses on its recognized expertise in Research and Development of both thermal and plasma surface modification for the synthesis of functional polymer thin films, functional inorganic coatings, or functional/smart surfaces.

OUR RESEARCH CHALLENGES

  • Development and engineering of advanced processes for the synthesis of Functional Surfaces.
  • Upscaling equipment and processes from lab or bench-scale to industrial and semi-industrial scale.

OUR COMPETENCES AND EXPERTISE FIELDS

1. Low Pressure Technology line & Hybrid dry processes

  • Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) for low & high temperature oxide nanocomposite coatings.
  • High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering/Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition (HIPIMS/PECVD) for Cermet nanocomposite and micrometric coatings.
  • Pulsed and sequential Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) for carbon nanotubes, porous matrix nanocomposite and metal oxide nanocomposite.
  • Oxidative CVD (oCVD) for porphyrin-based conjugated polymer thin films.

2. Atmospheric pressure technology line & Plasma assisted deposition

  • Arc-PECVD for complex oxide thin films.
  • Non-pulsed and pulsed Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) PECVD for functional polymer thin films, Catechol/Quinone based thin films, macromolecular engineering and plasma interface compatibilization for adhesion.

3. Plasma technology for advanced manufacturing

  • Development of plasma torches for the deposition of organic/inorganic spot/line with a micrometric resolution (100 um).
  • Combination of plasma technology with 3D additive manufacturing.

4. Characterization and surface analysis

5. Plasma characterization

APPLICATION AREAS

  • Smart functional coatings (coloration, corrosion, oxidation, catalytic and antimicrobial).
  • Super black coatings for optical instruments, for energy harvesting and storage, for solar selective black.
  • Smart polymer thin films for (photo)(electro)catalytic and energy applications.
  • Superhydrophobic, amphiphobic and icephobic polymer thin films.
  • Charged polymer thin films for membranes.
  • Smart polymer thin films for responsive surfaces.
  • Biobased, biodegradable (hydrogel) coatings.
  • Catechol/Quinone plasma engineering for biosurface functionalization and energy.
  • Doped oxide and perovskite thin films for catalysis and energy applications.
  • Plasma surface patterning and adhesion for composite materials.

EQUIPEMENT

I.    Deposition facilities and prototypes

1.    Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD)

  • 1x Magnetron sputtering coater for the synthesis of multi-layer or composite coatings.
  • 1x Semi-industrial coater equipped with HIgh Power Impulse Magnetron sputtering. (HIPIMS) deposition system for deposition on complex substrates.

2.    Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD)

  • 1x Thermal Hybrid CVD-Atomic Layer Deposition reactor for 2D substrates.
  • 1x Thermal Hybrid CVD- Atomic Layer Deposition reactor for 2D & 3D substrates.
  • 2x Oxidative CVD reactor for conjugated polymer thin films deposition.

3.    Low Pressure Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition (LP-PECVD)

  • 1x Low-pressure and high density dual PECVD-PVD reactor.
  • 1x Semi-industrial PECVD coater equipped with roll-to-roll for the continuous coating of 2D substrate.
  • 1x Low-pressure CVD assisted by microwave plasma reactor.
  • 1x Plasma-enhanced Hybrid CVD reactor for 2D substrates.

4.    Atmospheric Pressure Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition (AP-PECVD)

  • 3x Dynamic Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) reactors for the plasma coating of functional thin films and polymer layers (2x homemade planar DBD discharge, 1x PlasmaLine from MPG).
  • 6-axis Robot for the dynamic plasma deposition. Can be equipped with an Arc Blown Discharge torch (ULS Omega1 from Acxys) or a DBD torch (PlasmaSpot from MPG).
  • Numerous Plasma generators (EFFITECH, AFS, Softal…) that deliver low-frequency, microwave-frequency or ultrashort square-wave pulses that can be operated in continuous or pulsed mode.

II.    Characterization facilities

  • Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR, Bruker VERTEX 70 + HYPERRION 2000),
  • Optical Emission Spectroscopy (OES, classical Princeton Instruments  Acton SpectraPro 2500i and time resolved, Princeton Instruments Acton SP2750).
  • Laser Diffraction Spray Measurement (Malvern Spraytec),
  • Peel Test (Tinius Olsen H1KT)
  • High Temperature Tribometer THT
  • Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) (QSense E1)
  • Drop Shape Analyser (water contact angle) with temperature control chamber (KRUSS, DSA100)
  • Photoelectrochemical cell equipped with a potentiostat/galvanostat instrument (Metrohm Autolab), solar simulator and gas-chromatograph for (photo)electrochemical and (photo)(electro)catalytic measurement.

III.    Other facilities

  • Thermal annealing furnaces at atmospheric pressure or under vacuum (AnnealSys AS-Micro, Babertherm)
  • Heating press
  • Numerous Nebulisation/Atomization and Vaporization systems (Venturi, Sono-Tek, Brooks, Bronkhorst, …)

Main assets - Some of our research projects

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Research domains
  • Materials

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Dr Patrick CHOQUET
Dr Patrick CHOQUET
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