Collaborative: Plasma deposition of thin films on nanowires and particles

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project focuses on the low-pressure plasma deposition onto nanoparticles and nanowires of nanometer-scale films (highly uniform thicknesses from under 10 nanometers to 100 nanometers) having high density, low porosity, and thickness. The proposed process allows high controllability of the thickness and structure of the film. The novelty of the present approach lies in taking advantage of the phenomenon of electrostatic trapping to produce a suspension of nanowires/nanoparticles within a chemically reacting plasma. This approach allows the nanowires/nanoparticles to remain in the reactor long enough to deposit films of desirable thickness and makes it possible to transfer the extensive know-how about plasma processing to the surface treatment of nanowires.

By combining the experimental study with a computational component, the investigators will develop a more detailed fundamental understanding of the various physical and chemical phenomena involved in the plasma-based surface deposition. In the modeling, they will create multiscale models that incorporate molecular interactions, electrostatics, chemical kinetics and transport, bounded by the macroscopic dimensions of the reactor. After establishing model validity based on the experiments, it will be used subsequently to provide physical insight and feedback for improvement of the design and interpretation of the results of the experiments.

CBET-0651283 Matsoukas This fundamental research is targeting the synthesis of core-shell structures that have potential applications in the areas of biosensing and nanoelectronics. Nanoparticles and nanowires are among the main building blocks of nanotechnology. These nanostructures and assemblies of them exhibit many unique optical, mechanical, and electrical properties that can be exploited in applications such as biological sensing and ultra-high-density electronics. Their range of application can be significantly extended by altering their surfaces through coating with other materials to improve properties such as adhesion, hydrophobicity, hydrophilicity, printability, and corrosion resistance.

By establishing a collaborative team, focused on basic science of plasma physics, the project is anticipated to yield benefits that will extend beyond the specific research goals of the program. The award supports two graduate students who will be trained in an interdisciplinary area. It will further supports undergraduate research opportunities and will develop educational modules and hands-on activities on concepts related to thin film deposition onto nanoparticles and nanowires. In addition to publishing the research in scholarly journals, results will also be disseminated as educational animations demonstrating various processes in the plasma reactor.

Effective start/end date5/1/074/30/11


  • National Science Foundation: $179,884.00


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