Construction of Microwave Plasma Reactor for the Synthesis of Nanomaterials

Noble metal nanostructures created efficiently using the plasma from argon and microwaves.

  1. Concept
  2. Solution
  3. Result
  • Concept

    Concept

    Concept

    The fabrication of substrate based, noble metal nanostructures is of great interest for plasmonic applications. The current technology for this dewetting process is the tube furnace. The tube furnace electrically heats a cylindrical cavity to provide enough energy to initiate dewetting. This process is slow and wasteful of energy. Alternatively, the design and construction of a microwave plasma reactor (MPR) provides an effective method for quickly initiating the dewetting process as well as an inexpensive and easy way for tuning the Local Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR).

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  • Solution

    Components

    Components

    The first component is a household microwave oven operating at 2.45 GHz. This equipment will be modified to allow the components to be located both inside its cavity and out. The second component is the gas handling system. It will be designed for a plasma reaction between microwaves and argon comprised of stainless steel fittings and piping. The third component is a flame fused quartz reaction chamber, designed specifically to fit inside the confines of the microwave, withstand high temperatures of the created plasma, and comfortably hold multiple sapphire (0001) substrates.

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  • Result

    Objective

    Objective

    The design objective for the MPR is to efficiently dewet noble metal nanostructures using the plasma created from argon and microwaves. The final intention is to control both the size and shape of the dewetted nanostructures. The dewetting process through the MPR will be much more time effective and energy efficient than the current technology.

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