Fabrication and operation of a microcavity plasma array device for microscale surface modification

Sameer A. Al-Bataineh, Endre J. Szili, Philipp J. Gruner, Craig Priest, Hans J. Griesser, Nicolas H. Voelcker, Robert D. Short, David A. Steele

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Surface modification of materials with microscale features through plasma treatment or deposition is of high value, and is considered one of the great challenges in plasma-based materials processing. This article reports a versatile method for the fabrication of microcavity plasma array devices. A 7 × 7 microcavity plasma array device (each cavity was 250 μm in diameter and separated by 500 μm) was used in this study to demonstrate the capability of these devices for localised, non-contact surface treatment/polymer deposition. The device can be reused multiple times for plasma treatment and polymerisation. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) imaging and region of interest (ROI) analysis, in addition to surface hydration, were employed to characterise the micropatterns on microplasma-treated PS. The results showed that microplasma treatment/deposition could be spatially confined to regions exposed to the individual ignited microcavities. However, the results also demonstrated that the size of the treated spots tended to increase with increasing treatment time until they eventually overlapped resulting in a homogeneous surface treatment confined to the size of the array. Similarly, the concentration of oxygen quantified on the treated spots reached saturation after 75 s of treatment. The versatility of the device was demonstrated by depositing an array of octadiene plasma polymer (ODpp) onto a silicon substrate as confirmed by XPS imaging and ROI analysis. A key advantage of these microcavity array devices is that they can be easily integrated into manufacturing and do not require contact with the substrate surface to impart well-defined chemical modifications on materials surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-646
Number of pages9
JournalPlasma Processes and Polymers
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • atmospheric pressure glow discharges
  • microcavity plasma array device
  • plasma polymerisation
  • plasma treatment
  • XPS

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