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Microplasma generator and methods therefor

United States Patent

April 14, 2015
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A low-temperature, atmospheric-pressure microplasma generator comprises at least one strip of metal on a dielectric substrate. A first end of the strip is connected to a ground plane and the second end of the strip is adjacent to a grounded electrode, with a gap being defined between the second end of the strip and the grounded electrode. High frequency power is supplied to the strip. The frequency is selected so that the length of the strip is an odd integer multiple of 1/4 of the wavelength traveling on the strip. A microplasma forms in the gap between the second end of the strip and the grounded electrode due to electric fields in that region. A microplasma generator array comprises a plurality of strongly-coupled resonant strips in close proximity to one another. At least one of the strips has an input for high-frequency electrical power. The remaining strips resonate due to coupling from the at least one powered strip. The array can provide a continuous line or ring of plasma. The microplasma generator can be used to alter the surface of a substrate, such as by adding material (deposition), removal of material (etching), or modifying surface chemistry.
Hopwood; Jeffrey A. (Needham, MA)
Trustees of Tufts College (Medford, MA)
13/ 266,396
April 27, 2010
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT The invention was made with support from Grant DE-SC0001923 from the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in the invention.