Microplasmas are low-temperature plasmas that feature microscale dimensions and a unique high-energy-density and a nonequilibrium reactive environment, which makes them promising for the fabrication of advanced nanomaterials and devices for diverse applications. Here, recent microplasma applications are examined, spanning from high-throughput, printing-technology-compatible synthesis of nanocrystalline particles of common materials types, to water purification and optoelectronic devices. Microplasmas combined with gaseous and/or liquid media at low temperatures and atmospheric pressure open new ways to form advanced functional materials and devices. Specific examples include gas-phase, substrate-free, plasma-liquid, and surface-supported synthesis of metallic, semiconducting, metal oxide, and carbon-based nanomaterials. Representative applications of microplasmas of particular importance to materials science and technology include light sources for multipurpose, efficient VUV/UV light sources for photochemical materials processing and spectroscopic materials analysis, surface disinfection, water purification, active electromagnetic devices based on artificial microplasma optical materials, and other devices and systems including the plasma transistor. The current limitations and future opportunities for microplasma applications in materials related fields are highlighted.
- materials and devices
- nanoscale synthesis