Removing residues (scum) from a substrate through gentle plasma cleaning is known as descumming. Plasma as a cleaning agent is an environmentally friendly, safe alternative to traditional wet chemical cleaning methods since it doesn’t require use of hazardous solvents.
In semiconductor processing, plasma cleaning is commonly used to prepare a wafer surface prior to wire bonding. Removing contamination (flux) strengthens the bond adhesion, which helps extend device reliability and longevity.
In biomedical applications, plasma cleaning is useful for achieving compatibility between synthetic biomaterials and natural tissues. Surface modification minimizes adverse reactions such as inflammation, infection, and thrombosis formation.
Typical plasma cleaning applications include:
- Removing contamination or sterilizing a surface
- Promoting adhesion between two surfaces
- Controlling surface tension to achieve either a hydrophobic or hydrophilic surface
- Increasing biocompatibility between synthetic biomaterials and natural tissues
- Improving polymer performance through cross-linking to decrease friction that wears out devices