Approved Industrial Partnership Programme
|Title||The science of atmospheric plasma processing of functional films (APFF)|
|Executive organisational unit||DIFFER|
|Programme management||Prof.dr.ir. M.C.M. van de Sanden|
|Cost estimate||M€ 1.7|
This IPP aims at generating the fundamental knowledge required for further development of a new Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition (AP-PECVD) technology platform. The key challenges for R&D are to increase the throughput, robustness and versatility of the AP-PECVD technology and, to explore whether thin films with excellent film properties and performance can be obtained reproducible over large areas on low density substrates. These challenges lead to the following scientific objectives.
- To acquire a fundamental understanding of atmospheric plasma generation mechanism under AP-PECVD conditions, including the in detail study of the observed spatio-temporal behaviour of the high power plasma in relation to deposition and precursor fragmentation in time and space. This should go hand in hand with modeling of the discharge.
- To understand the plasma-surface interaction in the discharge, in which spatio-temporal plasma instabilities (a multi- length and time scale problem) and discharge pattern formation are related to non-local electron kinetics and reactive species generation. How is the 2D spatial distribution of charge affecting film nucleation and how is the non-local species generation affecting the film front roughening.
Background, relevance and implementation
The future markets for Fujifilm, such as encapsulation layers for thin film photovoltaics and membranes for CO2 neutral energy solutions, and which line up with the company's core competence of high throughput manufacturing, require high quality functional foils which can be manufactured by the AP-PECVD process at a large scale and at low cost. The key challenges for R&D are to increase the throughput, robustness and versatility of the AP-PECVD technology and, to explore whether thin films with excellent film properties and performance can be obtained reproducible over large areas on low density substrates.
This new research group affiliated to the FOM-Institute DIFFER, and located at Fujifilm's Plasma Competence Center in Tilburg will have access to experimental equipment and the analytical instruments available. The ambition of both Fujifilm and FOM is to grow to a size of 3-4 PhD projects and 1-2 postdocs next to the group leader position in the near future.
A scientific advisory board is established that meets yearly, and monitors progress of the programme. A supervisory board oversees overall progress of the programme. Drastic changes require approval of the supervisory board.
The final evaluation of this programme will consist of a self-evaluation initiated by the programme leader and is foreseen in 2018.
Please find a research highlight that was achieved in 2014 within this FOM programme here.