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Pure Appl. Chem., 2006, Vol. 78, No. 6, pp. 1157-1172

Materials processing at atmospheric pressure: Nonequilibrium effects on nanotechnology and mega-industries

Tomohiro Nozaki and Ken Okazaki

Department of Mechanical and Control Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 O-okayama, Meguro, Tokyo, 1528552, Japan

Abstract: Applications of atmospheric pressure nonequilibrium plasmas, because of their special advantages of forming reactive plasmas in a simple reactor, are spreading into various engineering fields, not only of materials processing, but also into energy and environment areas. Our group has explored new applications of both filamentary and diffuse barrier discharges, including the establishment of appropriate modeling, which enables better optimization of given plasma processes. More recently, microplasmas produced in submillimeter to micrometer reactors are also highlighted in association with atmospheric pressure nonequilibrium plasma because such small-scale plasmas frequently require high-density media to produce. This paper overviews our recent projects: (1) steam reforming of methane using filamentary barrier discharge; (2) deposition of carbon nanotubes in atmospheric pressure radio frequency discharge (APRFD); and (3) synthesis of silicon nanoparticles using microplasma.