The Power of Plasma

The versatility of plasma technology is one of its most important advantages.

Because plasma is made up of dissociated positively and negatively charged particles (in addition to neutral particles), it will react with a wide variety of substances.

And because the process can be readily controlled and reproduced, plasma can be used to clean, etch, or coat almost any surface without the safety hazards and liquid waste associated with wet processes.

Plasma etching technology can remove organic and inorganic contamination, increase wettability, increase bond strength, and remove residue. If effective surface treatments critical to the efficiency of a process or the reliability of a product, plasma technology may be the best answer.

For years, manufacturers in the electronics sector have used plasma technology for a variety of surface modification and etching applications. Developments and innovations in the field of plasma technology have dramatically expanded the capabilities and potential uses of this clean, safe, cost-effective process.

Plasma etching systems are now utilized for surface activation, etching, and deposition with a variety of materials. The plasma process can render most materials:
• Clean
• Hydrophilic (Wettable)
• Hydrophobic (Non Wettable)
• Bondable
• Markable
• Lubricated
• Abrasion Resistant
• Passivated
• Many Other Uniquely Engineered Surface Characteristics

The versatility of the plasma process means that it can be used for a full range of cleaning and etching tasks, from removing small amounts of contaminants in a final clean process, to the more demanding job of desmear and etchback in the printed circuit board industry.

Plasma is often used to clean odd-shaped parts with areas that are not readily accessible, such as blind holes. It can also clean assemblies made of different materials.

Plasma is exceptionally useful when bonding two materials of different origins, such as wood and metal, or rubber and plastic. When each surface is 100% free of contaminates, or “plasma clean”, significantly stronger bonds can be achieved.

The plasma etching process occurs in a vacuum and uses radio frequency energy, instead of heat, to create plasma that produces the desired reaction with the surface that it is treating. This helps to avoid heat damage and promote safety.

The process is highly controllable and repeatable, ensuring uniform results – product to product, and batch to batch.
Plasma can, in many cases, eliminate the need for CFCs and other solvents. This will, in turn, reduce costly disposal of hazardous by-products.

To find out more about how Plasma Etch might be able to help you improve your processes or products, visit our website.