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Flexible, Lightweight Arrays of Microcavity Plasma Devices: Control of Cavity Geometry in Thin Substrates

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8 Author(s)
Readle, J.D. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL ; Tobin, K.E. ; Kwang Soo Kim ; Je Kwon Yoon
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Adaptation of wet chemical processing or replica molding techniques to microcavity plasma device technology has yielded lightweight and flexible arrays in the Al/Al2O3 materials system and plastic substrates, respectively. Microplasma arrays fabricated from two bonded sections of Al mesh with an integral dielectric barrier of nanoporous alumina have an overall thickness of <100 mum, resulting in lamps that are flexible and conformable to a variety of surfaces. Operating these arrays in both flat and curved configurations reveals few changes to the voltage-current characteristics but a reduction of a factor of two in the luminance of curved or bent structures relative to that for a flat array. Truncated paraboloid cavities have also been formed in 30-70-mum-thick Al foil by a sequence of wet chemical processes. Microcavities with an emitting aperture diameter as small as 50 mum have been realized, and arrays comprising 104 cavities exhibit ignition voltages of ~140-150 V (rms) for Ne pressures between 400 and 700 torr and a 20-kHz sinusoidal voltage waveform. Mixtures of Ne and Xe with Xe content up to 67% have been operated successfully. Ignition voltages of only 70-90 V (rms) have been measured for 30 times 30 arrays of 200 times 200-mum2 microcavities formed in ultraviolet curable polymer by replica molding and operating in 400-600 torr of Ne. For 3% N2/Ar mixtures at total pressures of 400-700 torr, the ignition voltages rise to ~150-220 VRMS for a driving frequency of 20 kHz, the array emission is spatially uniform, and rms currents above 85 mA can be drawn in the steady state by these plastic-based arrays.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 6 )