Large-scale, low-pressure plasmas play an essential role in the manufacturing of integrated circuits that are now ubiquitous in consumer electronics. In recent years, new challenges have arisen for these top-down approaches to materials processing. Future electronic devices will incorporate nanoscale materials such as nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, and silicon nanowires that cannot be fabricated by current plasma technology because of limitations associated with photolithography. In addition, emerging applications in sensors, energy, and medicine require materials that must be prepared from the “bottomup”.
The aim of our research is to develop a new class of plasmas, termed “microplasmas”, for nanomaterials synthesis.