Plasma Sources and Materials Processing

Qi Hua Fan | |


Research in the Plasma Sources and Materials Processing Laboratory focuses on combining plasma science with materials processing to facilitate the exploration of advanced functional coatings, next generation optoelectronic devices, and energy storage devices.   

High-density plasma source science and engineering. Plasma sources are vitally important for manufacturing functional coatings, flat panel displays, solar cells, semiconductor integrated circuits, and optical thin films. Our research combines advanced modeling with innovative designs to develop high-performance plasma sources, such as inductively coupled high-density plasmas, sputtering magnetrons, and magnetically enhanced plasmas. The research has received support from the NSF.

Plasma-assisted materials processing. The highly reactive species in plasmas enable efficient processing of advanced nanomaterials and surface engineering. We are particularly interested in understanding the gas-phase reactions and plasma-surface interactions. We use optical emission spectroscopy and probes to diagnose the reactions and plasma properties. Using a variety of plasma sources, we have been conducting research in diamond and diamond-like carbon coatings, piezoelectric thin films, transparent conductive oxide films, optical bio-sensors, and photovoltaic thin films and devices. With the support of the NSF, we are also exploring new approaches for manufacturing nanomaterials using plasma electrolysis. Our research on electro-optical thin films and optical filters includes extensive modeling using the state-of-the-art optical software.

Nanostructured materials for energy storage and harvesting. We focus on nanoporous materials with large active surface areas for energy storage devices. We are particularly interested in using advanced plasma sources to modulate the electric properties of graphene and carbon nanosheets. We also have active research in the electro-optical properties of porous Si fabricated using non-HF solutions.