The efficiency of catalysts is strongly dependent on their surface structures. Microplasmas provide huge amounts of reactive species at atmospheric pressure. Laser irradiation of surfaces with short pulses (fs – ns) in reactive atmospheres (e.g. nitrogen, oxygen, hydrocarbons) can lead to very effective functionalisation of surfaces (e.g. nitrification, carburisation) via complex laser-plasma-surface interactions. Additionally, recent studies report on the formation of self-organised patterns with dimensions in the order of several hundreds of nanometers by non-linear laser lithography. Therefore, the combination of laser treatment of surfaces and reactive species generated by the micro-scaled atmospheric pressure plasma jet (m-APPJ) is studied in this project. The self-pulsing operation mode of the m-APPJ allows to tune the reaction chemistry within the plasma device and provides different metastables or long-lived species with the required inner energies ( 10 eV).
We intend to focus on the basic mechanisms in this project. Atomic nitrogen and oxygen appear to be ideal candidates due to their high reactivity, especially in combination with the material systems of interest in the consortium – e.g. copper, titanium, and iron. Active and passive optical methods (tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy, two-photon Absorption laser induced fluorescence, optical emission spectroscopy, ...) will be applied to investigate the plasma kinetics and densities of reactive species. Ex-situ surface diagnostics will complete the picture by investigation of the
surface structure down to the level of chemical bonds (X-ray photo electron spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy).
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