The Fraunhofer ICT's competences in the area of microwave and plasma technology extend far beyond simple processing technologies. They include the development of production units and measurement technology, accompanied by numerical simulation of the electromagnetic field and the resulting heating or plasma formation. Particular attention is paid to the reproducible and controlled application of microwaves. Plasmas generated with microwaves can be used for the cleaning, modification or coating of surfaces (PECVD).
Microwaves are non-ionized electromagnetic waves, and are absorbed by polar, magnetic or poorly electrically conductive materials throughout their entire volume. This enables the materials to be heated independently of their thermal conductivity.
Plasma coating processes, such as PCVD (plasma chemical vapor deposition) can be used to introduce a thin, functional layer onto the surface of various materials. This coating significantly improves the properties or usability of the component.
Modern FEM software packages enable numerically-consistent simulation of electromagnetic fields and the associated heating or plasma generation. The simulation supports and accelerates the development of production units and processes in the area of microwaves and plasmas.
Microwaves are well-suited to process monitoring and control. Non-destructive measurements can be carried out to determine the degree of polymer cross-linking. It is also possible to detect the aging processes of materials.