» Plasma For Materials

Plasma treatments induce chemical and physical surface changes in materials through activation, etching, grafting, film deposition, implantation, polymerisation and cross-linking processes. Surface properties of materials can be modified in order to impart or to improve hydrophilic properties, water repellence, dye-ability, wet-ability, adhesion, gas-moisture-barrier properties, UV barrier properties, oleo-repellence properties, antistatic properties, flame retarding properties, biocompatibility [1,2,3]. In the centre of excellence PLASMAPROMETEO several plasma processes have been studied and applied to different materials such as textiles, lignocellulosic fibres, polymers, leathers, wood, ceramic materials, plastics [4,5,6,7]. The relevant sectors of applications are packaging, biomedicine, food, textile, health, optics, sensors, environment, energy.

PET fibres at AFM: increase of roughness  by plasma treatment (exposure time: 0, 30 ,60, 90 seconds)

COTTON FABRICS: Water repellence


SILK: chemical and plasma degummingUntreated Chemically degummed Plasma etching


PET: wet-ability


LEATHER: Water repellence



» Plasma treatment for biomedical application

PLASMAPROMETEO works in the biomedical [8]  and micro-filtration sector for improving properties of materials such as membranes, medical devices, prothesis, etc. The innovation of the technology resides on  surface functionalization at a nanometric scale,  in order to make such  materials biocompatible with human tissues avoiding for instance  bacterial adhesion  to the surface.

Plasma Processes for biomedical materials have a large impact in the sector of health, safety, environment, and they can be used in the field of device construction for medical use.

PP MEMBRANES: anti-fouling

» Plasma Deposition of nanostructured thin films

Nanostructured materials represent a wide and important field for research and technological applications. Nano-materials exhibit many advantages and properties which make them very different from conventional materials and useful for energetic, electronic and structural applications. Plasma Prometeo patented an innovative plasma deposition technique for nanostructured thin films deposition (Plasma Assisted Supersonic Jet Deposition) which splits the deposition process in two steps. First a dense oxidizing plasma dissociates the metallic precursor, then the nucleation and deposition of molecular clusters takes place in another vacuum chamber with a supersonic jet’s expansion. In this way we can easily control and modify both the chemistry and the morphology of the film [11,12]. The depositions of nanostructured thin films are realized with the plasma source PIUMA.

nanostructured depositNanostructured TiO2 thin film obtained with the plasma source PIUMA using PASJD for dye-sensitized solar cells.

» Plasma treatment for cultural heritage

Plasma technology is innovative in the field of conservation of degradable materials  of particular interest such as lignocellulosic artefacts [9,10]. Plasma surface treatments improve permanent properties such as water repellence, anti-bacteria barriers decreasing the degradation produced by chemical agents (such as acids and pollution) and by biological ones (like bacteria, moulds).

Plasma treatments do not cause bulk modifications and the use of chemical agents is much lower than with conventional treatments, leading to conspicuous economical and environmental advantages.

PAPER: water repellence            PAPER: oil repellence


PEARCH: film deposition

» Further information is available in papers published in scientific reviews:

[1] “Wettability and dyebility modulation of poly(ethylene terephthalate) fibres through cold SF6 plasma treatment”

R. Barni, C. Riccardi, E. Selli, M.R. Massafra, B. Marcandalli, F. Orsini, G. Poletti, L. Meda

Plasma Processes and Polymers  2, 64-72 (2005)

[2] “Modifications of lignocellulosic fibers by Ar plasma treatments in comparison with biological treatments”

S. Zanini, C. Riccardi, C. Canevali, M. Orlandi, L. Zoia, E.L. Tolppa

Surface & Coatings Technology 200 (1-4), 556-560 (2005)

[3] “Surface modification of PET film by a DBD device at atmospheric pressure”,

P. Esena, C. Riccardi, S. Zanini, M. Tontini, G. Poletti,  F. Orsini

Surface and Coatings Technology 200 (1-4), 664-667 (2005)

[4]  ”Surface properties of HMDSO plasma treated polyethylene terephthalate”

S. Zanini, C. Riccardi, M. Orlandi, P. Esena, M. Tontini, M. Milani, V. Cassio

Surface and Coatings Technology 200 (1-4), 953-957 (2005)

[5] “Plasma Treatment of Silk”

C. Riccardi, R. Barni, P. Esena

Solid State Phenomena 107, 125-128 (2005)

[6] “Cold plasma treatment of PET fabrics:surface morphology characterisation”

G. Poletti, E. Orsini, C. Riccardi, A. Raffaele-Addamo, E. Selli

Pramana Journal of Physics 62, 911-921 (2004)

[7] “Characterization of Plasma Processing for Polymers”

A. Raffaele-Addamo, C.Riccardi, E. Selli, R. Barni, M. Piselli, G. Poletti, F. Orsini, B. Marcandalli, M.R. Massafra, L. Meda

Surface and Coatings Technology  174-5, 886-890 (2003)

[8]“A new synthesis of flumazenil suitable for fluorine-18 labeling”

G. Broggini, M. Orlandi, A. Turioni, C. Zoni

Organic Preparation and Procedures Int 35(6), 609-613(2003)

[9] “Oxidation of milled wood lignin with laccase, tyrosinase and horseradish peroxidase”

S. Grönqvist, L. Viikari, M.-L. Niku-Paavola, M. Orlandi, C. Canevali, J. Buchert

Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology67 (4), 489-494 (2005)

[10] “Laccase mediator system: oxidation of recalcitrant lignin model structures present in residual kraft lignin”

G. Elegir, S. Daina, L. Zoia, G. Sestetti,  M. Orlandi

Enzyme and Microbial Technology 37, 340-346 (2005)

[11] “A supersonic plasma jet source for controlled and efficient thin film deposition.”

Biganzoli, I., Fumagalli, F., Di Fonzo, F., Barni, R., & Riccardi, C. (2012).


[12] “Metodo e apparato per la deposizione di strati sottili nanostrutturati con morfologia e nanostruttura controllata ( Nanostrutture). Method and apparatus for depositing nanostructured thin layers with controlled morphology and nanostructure.”

Riccardi, C., Fumagalli, F., Bottani, C., & Di Fonzo, F. (2009).

Brevetto No. MI2009A002107, PCT/EP2010/068539.


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