In June 2023, we reported about a new joint project of scientists from the Plasma Nanotechnologies and Bioapplications research group of the Department of Plasma Physics and Technology and CEPLANT. The MOBILITY projects of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport aim to link domestic and foreign research and expand possibilities of international cooperation. At the kick-off meeting with the project partner and the research center at HAWK Göttingen, Germany, the scientists planned the experiments and analyses and set the dates for further visits.
The 8J23DE002 project focuses on the topic of fiber functionalization by plasma-assisted layer deposition under atmospheric pressure and advanced layer thickness analysis by laser-induced plasma spectroscopy (LIBS). The international and interdisciplinary approach to addressing current issues is essential for innovating established techniques. The project's priority is plasma technology optimization to improve fiber functionalization and subsequently enhance the method for thickness measurement using LIBS, which has great potential in industrial applications.
The first kick-off meeting was followed by a one-month internship of a PhD student, Roman Přibyl, in August 2023. His task was to build and test the apparatus with an MSDBD plasma source. It can generate plasma in different gases and also with precursor admixture. Roman Přibyl also prepared and analyzed thin films based on HMDSO. He was trained in methods like LIBS, interferometry, and 3D optical microscopy, which he used for sample analyses during his stay at HAWK.
At the end of November 2023 and in the first two weeks of December, the main investigator Dr. Zlata Kelar Tučeková together with Dr. Jakub Kelar met with their German colleagues in Göttingen to evaluate the achieved results and to plan the follow-up work on the project. During her stay, Dr. Kelar Tučeková further analyzed samples of functional layers using LIBS and 3D microscopy. "The biggest challenge so far is the laser interaction during spectroscopy and its highly damaging effect on our samples, even at low energies. There are some challenges and a need to further optimize the layer preparation for LIBS, including the layer preparation on fibers. However, the project's preliminary results look very promising," comments Dr. Kelar Tučeková.
The team at HAWK Göttingen works closely with the LIBS manufacturer. Andreas Tümmel and his colleagues have been able to improve the calibration and preparation of the spectrometer for the actual LIBS measurement. Part of this optimization process is testing and detecting LIBS problems in the case of different samples.
In 2024, German colleagues will visit their project partners in Brno. Together, they will continue the layer preparation and the optimization of the fiber functionalization. Mutual personal meetings with interdisciplinary overlap led to valuable discussions and new ideas in experimental research. The opportunity to travel and work on a project with foreign colleagues is also a source of new experiences and new professional contacts for the students. The project is scheduled to end at the end of 2024.