Gliding arc under varying hypergravity: plasma diagnostics and deposition of carbon nanostructures (GRAVARC)

Project Identification
Project Period
1/2012 - 12/2013
Investor / Pogramme / Project type
Esa European Space Research & Technology Centre
MU Faculty or unit
Faculty of Science

In this project we are going to investigate the behaviour of gliding arc (Glid-Arc) discharge in carbon containing atmosphere in conditions of hypergravity as well as the properties of the solid products of plasma-chemical reactions involved. As the appearance of the Glid-Arc plasma channel is governed by hot gas buoyancy, we will study the effects of gravity on the shape, intensity, colour and emission spectra of the discharge.
Consequently, we will also
study the solid deposit produced by the plasma reactions. We expect the formation of a thin layer containing various carbon allotropes in nanometric scale with properties depending on experimental conditions. We will focus on molecular, cluster and nanocrystalline forms of carbon, such as nanotubes, nanodiamonds, graphene and fullerenes containing both sp3 diamond bonds and sp2 graphitic bonds.
Other investigators have already shown the effect of both microgravity and hypergravity on the carbon material synthesis process and resulting material properties. Our project aims to broaden the scope of the previous research by using other type of discharge and investigating other allotropes of carbon. This work can lead to innovations in industrial production of advanced carbon nanomaterials with better control over the phase composition, size distribution and other properties important for future applications.

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