Digital Plasma


Non-thermal micro plasmas at atmospheric pressure have gained significant importance in a wide area of technological applications over the past 20 years. For better surface adhesion and to achieve high quality of the final printed and coated multi-material shapes and devices, a high-resolution multi-nozzle plasma jet array is needed, which can digitally apply a micro plasma surface treatment. The main objective of the project is the development of a plasma array in which each single plasma cell can be ignited individually at atmospheric pressure following an arbitrary request of the final user.


Funding type HES-SO Impulse Research Fund, Engineering Interdisciplinary Program
Project supervisor Gilbert Gugler
Duration 2019 - 2021
Research area Innovative pre/post processes

In this project we developed a digital plasma system that has shown that it is possible to ignite multiple micro-plasmas simultaneously and control them in a digital way. The entire setup is nearly working as planned, while some sporadic parasitic plasmas have been observed. These will probably be eliminated with improved manufacturing technologies as presently the millimetre small plasma device are hand made in a standard mechanical workshop. At present no depositions were made but preliminary test with different gas types showed that the plasma device is capable of operating at different gas and voltage conditions, which are the main influences to be expected for usage with deposition precursor gaz. The effect of plasmas on surface treatment has been demonstrated with both single nozzle and multi-nozzle plasma heads.

During this work a worldwide patent has been deposited (a shared patent between HES-SO-FR and HES-SO-VS). This patent is mainly covering the basic technology of ignite multiple micro-plasmas simultaneously and control them in a digital way. This basic formulation allows to use this technology for different application and also to formulated add. Application patents based on this basic technology patent.

Currently Prof. Gilbert Gugler and Prof. Christoph Ellert are looking to find industrial partners for the next step of the development.

Link to the academic page

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