Recent Advances in Microwave, Millimeter-Wave and Plasma-Assisted Processing of Materials
We present results on microwave, millimeter-wave, and millimeter-wave-driven plasma-assisted processing of materials. The research is primarily based on two systems- a 2.45 GHz, 6 kW S-band system and an 83 GHz, 15 kW gyrotron-based quasi-optical system. The S-Band system is used to synthesize nanophase metals, metal mixtures, and metal oxides by our patented continuous microwave polyol process, which has potential for large scale and low cost production. This system is also being investigated to develop techniques for titanium melting and sintering. The 83-GHz system is used for rapid sintering of ceramic powder compacts to produce polycrystalline materials with limited grain growth. An important application is to the development of polycrystalline laser host materials for high power solid-state lasers, where the requirement is for transparency with high optical quality and good lasing efficiency. We are currently investigating solid-state reactive sintering of Nd-doped YAG (Yttrium Aluminum Garnet) from commercial oxide powders. This has thus far yielded translucent samples with good fluorescence lifetime of the lasing state. Techniques for further reducing light scattering by residual pores are being investigated. Finally, the millimeter-wave system is being used in the development of millimeter-wave plasma-assisted diamond deposition, as the quasi-optical system has significant advantages over conventional microwave plasma-assisted diamond deposition systems. The results and implications of this wide range of materials processing experiments are presented and discussed.
T. Chandra, N. Wanderka, W. Reimers , M. Ionescu
M. A. Imam et al., "Recent Advances in Microwave, Millimeter-Wave and Plasma-Assisted Processing of Materials ", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 638-642, pp. 2052-2057, 2010