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Microwave atmospheric plasma for surface energy modification and coating

This PhD project involves further development and characterisation of a MW plasma system for the ultra-precision engineering application, and particularly for the modification of surface energy of polymeric materials for manufacturing purposes.

Student

Lydia Frumosu

Supervisor

Zhaorong Huang

 

Firstly this project is a continuous and further development of a previous (Dr. Bennett) PhD project on the “development of MW RAPT for ultra-precision engineering”, in which the basic MW plasma system has been established. This project will use more techniques such as FBG to characterise the plasma properties further. Different plasma torches may be developed if deemed to be necessary. Secondly plasma surface treatment has been proved to be able to improve the precision of certain manufacturing processes such as bonding and embossing.  One of the objectives of this project is to use low temperature plasma to modify the surface of polymeric materials so that an ultra-precision manufacturing, for example R2R printing, can be achieved.

Surface energy measurements also relate to the surface roughness of a surface. Here precision engineering techniques such as surface profilometry will be used to analyse the surface roughness of the polymers, comparing how this affects their surface tension, and equally how irradiating the sample also affects its surface roughness. The aim is to bring this project onto a roll to roll printing platform, characterising the use of plasma treatment in a fast pace but customisable area.

 

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