Plasma Enhanced Atomic Layer Deposition on Powders
In this work, a rotary reactor was used to agitate particles, enabling the deposition of conformal coatings by thermal and plasma-enhanced ALD. Particles ranging from nanometer size to millimeter size were successfully coated with layers of Al2O3, TiO2, AlN and TiN.In-situ mass spectroscopy confirmed that ALD was performed by detecting the expected reaction products. By monitoring the formation of these reaction products over time, it was possible to optimize precursor and reactant usage, which is linearly dependent on the effective surface area of the particles. In the case of plasma enhanced ALD, in-situ optical emission spectroscopy confirmed the mass spectroscopy data. X-ray fluorescence revealed the expected linear relationship between the amount of ALD cycles and the deposited amount of material, while X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy was used to confirm the composition and purity of the coatings. Transmission electron spectroscopy finally showed that the individual particles were coated uniformly and conformally. Our results prove that the proposed rotary reactor enables conformal deposition on nano- and micropowders by thermal and plasma enhanced ALD. In this way, surface engineering of such particles can be achieved.