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Low-pressure water vapour plasma treatment of surfaces for biomolecules decontamination

Publication at Faculty of Mathematics and Physics |


Decontamination treatments of surfaces are performed on bacterial spores, albumin and brain homogenate used as models of biological contaminations in a low-pressure, inductively coupled plasma reactor operated with water-vapour-based gas mixtures. It is shown that removal of contamination can be achieved using pure H2O or Ar/H2O mixtures at low temperatures with removal rates comparable to oxygen-based mixtures.

Particle fluxes (Ar+ ions, O and H atomic radicals and OH molecular radicals) from water vapour discharge are measured by optical emission spectroscopy and Langmuir probe under several operating conditions. Analysis of particle fluxes and removal rates measurements illustrates the role of ion bombardment associated with O radicals, governing the removal rates of organic matter.

Auxiliary role of hydroxyl radicals is discussed on the basis of experimental data. The advantages of a water vapour plasma process are discussed for practical applications in medical devices decontamination.