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CEPLANT: R&D Centre of Low-Cost Plasma and Nanotechnology Surface Modifications
CEPLANT: R&D Centre of Low-Cost Plasma and Nanotechnology Surface Modifications

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Shekargoftar et al.
Enhancement of electrical properties of flexible ITO/PET by atmospheric
pressure roll-to-roll plasma

Flexible materials can significantly reduce the cost of the electronic devices because they can be manufactured by large-area roll-to-roll (R2R) processing. In this work, R2R atmospheric pressure plasma was used to modify flexible indium-tin-oxide films on polyethylene terephthalate foil (ITO/PET). Plasma treatment was performed in different feed gases consisting of various ratio between nitrogen and oxygen. A range of experimental techniques were used to study surface properties of ITO/PET, including X-ray and Ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopies, four-point probe, Atomic force microscopy and UV–Vis measurement. We found that R2R plasma treatment decreased carbon contamination and increased the number of oxygen vacancies on the surface, whereas the ratio between indium and tin remained constant. UPS showed an increase in the work function from 3.9 eV for untreated sample to 5.1 eV for sample treated in plasma for very short time of 2 s. Four-point probe measurement demonstrated remarkable decrease in sheet resistance from 44.2 Ω/sq to 11.7 Ω/sq after plasma treatment for 2 s. The AFM and UV–Vis measurements revealed only slightly change on the surface morphology and transmittance of the ITO/PET. The plasma treated foils were stored under laboratory environment and inside of the glovebox to study the effect of the environmental conditions on the stability of the improved properties. The ITO surfaces stored in laboratory environment for 3 weeks preserved approx. 60% of the properties achieved by plasma treatment, e.g. work function of the samples was approx. 4.5 eV after 3 weeks (and 5 weeks) ageing time in the laboratory environment.
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T. Homola et al. Atmospheric Dry Hydrogen Plasma Reduction of Inkjet-
Printed Flexible Graphene Oxide Electrodes, ChemSusChem 2018

This study concerns a low-temperature method for dry hydrogen
plasma reduction of inkjet-printed flexible graphene oxide
(GO) electrodes, an approach compatible with processes envisaged
for the manufacture of flexible electronics. The processing
of GO to reduced graphene oxide (rGO) was performed in
1–64 s, and sp2/sp2+sp3 carbon concentration increased from
approximately 20% to 90%. Since the plasma reduction was
associated with an etching effect, the optimal reduction time
occurred between 8 and 16 s. The surface showed good mechanical
stability when deposited on polyethylene terephthalate
flexible foils and significantly lower sheet resistance after
plasma reduction. This method for dry plasma reduction could
be important for large-area hydrogenation and reduction of
GO flexible surfaces, with present and potential applications in
a wide variety of emerging technologies.
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Enhancement of electrical properties of flexible ITO/PET by atmospheric pressure roll-to-roll plasma


R2R atmospheric pressure plasma was used to modify flexible indium-tin-oxide films on polyethylene terephthalate foil (ITO/PET). Plasma treatment was performed in different feed gases consisting of various ratio between nitrogen and oxygen. A range of experimental techniques were used to study surface properties of ITO/PET, including X-ray and Ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopies, four-point probe, Atomic force microscopy and UV–Vis measurement. We found that R2R plasma treatment decreased carbon contamination and increased the number of oxygen vacancies on the surface, whereas the ratio between indium and tin remained constant. UPS showed an increase in the work function from 3.9 eV for untreated sample to 5.1 eV for sample treated in plasma for very short time of 2 s. Four-point probe measurement demonstrated remarkable decrease in sheet resistance from 44.2 Ω/sq to 11.7 Ω/sq after plasma treatment for 2 s. The AFM and UV–Vis measurements revealed only slightly change on the surface morphology and transmittance of the ITO/PET. The plasma treated foils were stored under laboratory environment and inside of the glovebox to study the effect of the environmental conditions on the stability of the improved properties. The ITO surfaces stored in laboratory environment for 3 weeks preserved approx. 60% of the properties achieved by plasma treatment, e.g. work function of the samples was approx. 4.5 eV after 3 weeks (and 5 weeks) ageing time in the laboratory environment.
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Low-temperature (70 °C) ambient air plasma-fabrication of inkjet-printed mesoporous TiO2 flexible photoanodes

Titania/silica electron-generating and -transporting nanocomposite 300 nm layers of high porosity were deposited onto ITO/PET flexible foils using inkjet printing. Prior to printing, the ITO surface had been modified by novel low-temperature ambient air roll-to-roll plasma in order to enhance its surface properties by removing carbon and oxygen contaminants, a process that led to rapid improvement of surface energy. Consequently the ITO work function, an important parameter involving charge injection efficiency in energy harvesting systems, increased by 1 eV. Afterwards, the TiO2/methyl-silica ink exhibited excellent wetting on a 2 s plasma-treated ITO surface. The coating was further processed/mineralized by an additional low-temperature ambient air plasma treatment step. The plasma processing of raw photoanodes led to the mineralization of the methyl-silica binder which resulted in the formation of a fully inorganic TiO2/SiO2 mesoporous structure and significantly increased electrophotocatalytic activity, leading to increased photocurrents. The entire two-step plasma process was performed at low-temperature (70 °C) and high speeds, enabling practical applications of such a procedure for large-area fabrication of flexible photoanodes.
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Hybrid mesoporous titania/silica electron-generating and transporting layers were prepared using wet-coating with a dispersion consisting of prefabricated titania nanoparticles and a methyl-silica binder. Titania/methyl-silica wet layers were deposited by inkjet printing and further mineralized by low-temperature atmospheric-pressure air plasma using diffuse coplanar surface barrier discharge (DCSBD) to form a titania/silica hybrid nanocomposite coating. Morphological analysis performed by scanning electron microscopy revealed no damage to the titania nanoparticles and chemical analysis performed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy disclosed a rapid decrease in carbon and increase in oxygen, indicating the oxidation effect of the plasma. The coatings were further electrochemically investigated with linear sweep voltammetry and chronoamperometry. The magnitude of photocurrent and photocatalytic activity were found to increase significantly with the plasma exposure on the order of 10s of seconds. The results obtained demonstrate the potential of DCSBD ambient air plasma for fast and low-temperature mineralization of titania mesoporous coatings.

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsami.6b09556
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Knowledge Transfer Partnership

New call has been announced by Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic within OP EIC. The aim is a strengthening cooperation and developing transfer knowledge between SME and university. The centre CEPLANT offers young talented researchers for working in an enterprise under supervision and support during project preparation and implementation.

Maximum budget is 3,5 mil. CZK (funding rate is 70%)
Maximum duration is 3 years
Deadline is 7. 2. 2017
More information can be find on API web page http://www.agentura-api.org/programy-podpory/partnerstvi-znalostniho-transferu/partnerstvi-znalostniho-transferu-vyzva-ii/

If interested, contact us at info(at)ceplant.cz
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International project GLAREAL COAT (Glass modification by areal plasma for paintings or coatings) has received funding from OP PIK / IraSME. Consortium partners are Innovent, Polartherm and Roplass companies.

GLAREAL COAT is a consortium of companies and research organisations in Czech Republic and Germany. The project aims to investigate and develop the potential of areal atmospheric pressure plasmas for applications at glass surfaces, like homogeneous cleaning prior to coating steps, adhesion improvements of paintings and in safety glasses or reduction of chemical waste due to the plasma process in comparison to chemical cleaning.

More information: http://ceplant.cz/networking.html
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Mo2BC thin films show a favourable combination of high stiffness, hardness and elastic modulus together with moderate ductility. In this study we focused on the comparison of mechanical properties of Mo-B-C thin films with different structures (nanocrystalline or amorphous). The thin films were deposited on steel, hard metal and silicon substrates using DC magnetron sputtering. The mechanical properties of Mo-B-C films were studied using indentation techniques under both quasistatic and dynamic conditions using a wide range of loads from 50 μN up to 1 N. The results showed that even amorphous Mo-B-C thin films had high hardness of 19.5 ± 0.5 GPa and elastic modulus of 276 ± 5 GPa. Their hardness is comparable with the common amorphous diamond-like carbon coatings. Moreover, their fracture toughness is significantly higher. The results of mechanical tests were correlated with microstructure observations carried out using scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The images of the deformed area under the residual indentation imprints showed no cracking even after high loads or after indentation with sharp cube corner indenter.
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Spatially and temporally resolved measurements of atomic hydrogen concentration above the dielectric of coplanar barrier discharge are presented for atmospheric pressure in 2.2% H2/Ar. The measurements were carried out in the afterglow phase by means of two-photon absorption laser-induced fluorescence (TALIF). The difficulties of employing the TALIF technique in close proximity to the dielectric surface wall were successfully addressed by taking measurements on a suitable convexly curved dielectric barrier, and by proper mathematical treatment of parasitic signals from laser–surface interactions. It was found that the maximum atomic hydrogen concentration is situated closest to the dielectric wall from which it gradually decays. The maximum absolute concentration was more than 1022 m−3. In the afterglow phase, the concentration of atomic hydrogen above the dielectric surface stays constant for a considerable time (10 μs–1 ms), with longer times for areas situated farther from the dielectric surface. The existence of such a temporal plateau was explained by the presented 1D model: the recombination losses of atomic hydrogen farther from the dielectric surface are compensated by the diffusion of atomic hydrogen from regions close to the dielectric surface. The fact that a temporal plateau exists even closest to the dielectric surface suggests that the dielectric surface acts as a source of atomic hydrogen in the afterglow phase.
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The particulate soot emission from diesel motors has a severe impact on the environment and people's health. The use of catalytic convertors is one of the ways to minimize the emission and decrease the hazard level. In this paper, the activity of cerium oxide for catalyticcombustion of diesel soot was studied. Thin films of cerium dioxide were synthesized by atomic layer deposition using tetrakis(2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-3,5-heptanedionato)cerium [Ce(thd)4] and ozone as precursors. The characteristics of the films were studied as a function of deposition conditions within the reaction temperature range of 180–350 °C. Thickness, crystallinity, elemental composition, and morphology of the CeO2 films deposited on Si (100) were characterized by ellipsometry, x-ray diffraction,x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and field emission scanning electron microscopy, respectively. The growth rate of CeO2 was observed to be 0.30 Å/cycle at temperatures up to 250 °C with a slight increase to 0.37 Å/cycle at 300 °C. The effect of CeO2 films grown on stainless steel foil supports on soot combustion was measured with annealing tests. Based on the analysis of these, in catalytic applications, CeO2 has been shown to be effective in lowering the soot combustion temperature from 600 °C for the uncoated substrates to 370 °C for the CeO2 coated ones. It was found that the higher deposition temperatures had a positive effect on the catalyst performance.
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