Plasma and Surface Chemistry

Research Interests:

Our research is focussed on identifying the chemical reactants, products and the sequence of events (individual chemical steps) which are responsible for etching and deposition of thin films with plasmas. Toward this end, we have developed a new method (Supersonic Pulse, Plasma Sampling, Mass Spectrometry) for measuring the concentrations of all chemical species present in low pressure plasma.

In our first application of this new technique, we addressed one the fundamental puzzles of diamond film growth. "Why does the the growth of diamond films appear to depend so little on chemical structure of the reactant (or feed) gases?" Using this new method, we have found that within the plasma a rapid interconversion of carbon containing species occurs. In other words, although the feed gases may initially have different chemical natures, the plasma rapidly scrambles them into an almost identical mixtures of reactive species, which is ultimately responsible for film growth.

Further Information:

The People:

Chemistry of Diamond Film Growth

 Supersonic Pulse, Plasma Sampling Mass Spectrometry

 Blumenthal Group - Current Research

 Other Materials Groups in the Auburn Chemistry Department