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Pure Appl. Chem., 2005, Vol. 77, No. 2, pp. 415-428

Complex (dusty) plasmas: Examples for applications and observation of magnetron-induced phenomena

H. Kersten1, G. Thieme2, M. Fröhlich2, D. Bojic2, D. H. Tung2, M. Quaas3, H. Wulff3 and R. Hippler2

1 Institute for Nonthermal Plasmaphysics (INP), F.-L.-Jahn-Strasse 19, D-17489 Greifswald, Germany
2 Institute for Physics, University of Greifswald, Domstrasse 10a, D-17487 Greifswald, Germany
3 Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Greifswald, Soldmannstrasse 16/17, D-17487 Greifswald, Germany

Low-pressure plasmas offer a unique possibility of confinement, control, and fine tailoring of particle properties. Hence, dusty plasmas have grown into a vast field, and new applications of plasma-processed dust particles are emerging.
During the deposition of thin amorphous films onto melamine formaldehyde (MF) microparticles in a C2H2 plasma, the generation of nanosized carbon particles was also studied. The size distribution of those particles is quite uniform.
In another experiment, the stability of luminophore grains could be improved by coating with protective Al2O3 films that are deposited by a plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) process using a metal-organic precursor gas. Coating of SiO2 microparticles with thin metal layers by magnetron sputtering is also described. Especially the interaction of the microsized grains confined in a radio frequency (rf) plasma with the dc magnetron discharge during deposition was investigated. The observations emphasize that the interaction between magnetron plasma and injected microdisperse powder particles can also be used as a diagnostic tool for the characterization of magnetron sputter sources.