Keywords: beam plasma systems, plasmachemistry, hybrid materials, nanotechnology, electron–beam plasma, EBP, combined plasma, composites, plasma temperature, simulation, cellulose waste, pulp industry, microbiological industry
New applications of beam–plasma systems for the materials production
Beam–plasma systems (BPS) are known to be a great prospect for the surface modification of organic and inorganic materials. The present paper considers the plasma–assisted synthesis and deposition from the point of view of the hybrid materials production. Pilot setups in which the above processes occur in the electron–beam plasma (EBP) and combined plasma (CP) are described. The results of the experiments showed that the EBP– and CP–plasmachemical reactors can be applied for composite materials production. A number of metals, ceramics, polymers (biopolymers) and carbon were used as the composite components. Both high– and low–temperature processes in plasmas of various buffer gases (such as oxygen, nitrogen, hydrocarbons, fluoride–containing and noble gases) and vapours (water, ammonia, organic acids, sulphur and others) were studied. Plasma temperature can vary within the range 220–1500 K depending on properties of the original composite components and on peculiarities of the treatment process. Techniques of the computer simulation were developed to calculate the parameters responsible for the composite formation and to control the treatment process for the BPS optimisation. The results of the computer simulation of plasmas composition, material temperature and fluxes of the plasma particles bombarding the material surface are presented in comparison with the experimental data. In addition, the BPS were used to treat porous and membrane materials to modify their properties. Plasmachemical reactors with the pumping of the chemically active plasma through the materials were proved to be more effective than reactors with still plasmas. Special systems generating multi–component EBP– and CP–plasma flows, including the aerosol flows, were developed. The EBP– and CP–plasmas were shown to be the basis for promising 'green' and power–saving technologies. In particular, plasma treatment of cellulose–containing wastes was applied to produce valuable products for the pulp and microbiological industries.