Kunden, die sich für industrielle Mikrowellensysteme interessieren, wissen verständlicherweise nicht genau, wie viel Energie sie für ihre spezielle Anwendung benötigen. Je nachdem, ob es um Garprozesse, das Temperieren von Tiefkühlprodukten oder das Trocknen von Materialien geht – der Energiebedarf ist je nach Material und Anwendung sehr unterschiedlich.

 

In diesem Beitrag konzentrieren wir uns auf eine häufige Anwendung: das Verdampfen von Wasser.

Wir haben eine Zusammenfassung des allgemeinen Prozesses und der Berechnungen zusammengestellt, die zur Bestimmung der für die Trocknung Ihres Materials erforderlichen Energiemenge notwendig sind.

 

Die Mikrowellentrocknung ist schneller und häufig energieeffizienter als herkömmliche Methoden wie Trockenräume und Konvektionsöfen. Nutzen Sie diese Informationen, um die langfristigen Betriebskosten im Zusammenhang mit der Trocknung mit Mikrowellenenergie zu ermitteln.

Das erwartet Dich hier

Energieabschätzung zur Trocknung mit Mikrowellen 

  1.   Bestimmung der zu verdampfenden Wassermenge

  2.   Bestimmung, wie Ihr Material auf Mikrowellen reagiert

  3.   Berechnung des Energiebedarfs

  4.   Sprechen Sie mit uns

  5.   Kontakt

1. Bestimmung der zu verdampfenden Wassermenge

Bei jedem beliebigen Material müssen Sie zunächst feststellen, wie viel Wasser es vor dem Trocknen enthält. Zudem müssen Sie einen Zielwert für den Wassergehalt nach dem Trocknungsprozess festlegen.

 

Wenn Sie zum Beispiel 100 Kilogramm Material mit einem Wassergehalt von 60 % haben, das Sie auf 10 % Sättigung bringen müssen, lautet die Berechnung einfach:

 

Zu verdampfende Menge Wasser [kg] = 100 kg *(0,6 – 0,1) = 50 kg

 

Im Allgemeinen geben Sie auch eine Trocknungszeit vor, in der Sie das Material den Mikrowellen aussetzen wollen, um dieses Ziel zu erreichen.

2. Bestimmung, wie Ihr Material auf Mikrowellen reagiert

Häufig ist Wasser das mikrowellenaktivste Molekül in dem feuchten Grundmaterial und absorbiert durch seine hohen dielektrischen Verluste den Hauptteil der eigespeisten Energie. Daher ist die Energiemenge, die durch Absorption an den Rest des zu trocknenden Materials verloren geht minimiert.

 

Die folgenden Berechnungen beziehen sich auf die Energiemenge, die erforderlich ist, um das Wasser allein zu verdampfen, und sollten daher als grobe Schätzung der einzusetzenden Gesamtenergie dienen, die Sie benötigen werden, da ein geringer Teil der Energie für die Erwärmung des restlichen Materials benötigt wird.

 

Dieser Verlust ist häufig gering. Bei einem Grundmaterial mit einem hohen dielektrischen Verlust kann die Mikrowellenabsorption des Nicht-Wasseranteils allerdings nennenswert werden.  Wenn Sie ein solches Material in der Mikrowelle prozessieren wollen, sollten Sie eine längere Trocknungszeit einplanen, um eine zu starke Erwärmung des Grundmaterials zu vermeiden.

3. Berechnung des Energiebedarfs

Für eine Beispielrechnung nehmen wir nun einmal an, dass wir 50 kg Wasser in einer Stunde verdampfen wollen. Weiterhin nehmen wir an, dass die Ausgangstemperatur des Materials Zimmertemperatur, also 20°C, beträgt.

Die Formel zur Berechnung der Energiemenge, die zum Verdampfen von Wasser erforderlich ist, basiert auf der spezifischen Wärmekapazität von Wasser:

 

Es ist eine Energie von 4,19 Kilojoule (kJ) erforderlich, um ein Kilogramm Wasser um ein Grad Celsius zu erhitzen.

Sobald diese Energie das Wasser auf seinen Siedepunkt (100 °C) erhitzt hat, sind weitere 2257 kJ erforderlich, um ein Kilogramm flüssiges Wasser in Dampf umzuwandeln.

 

Die Energiebedarfsberechnung für unser Beispiel (50 kg Wasser in einer Stunde) ergibt folgendes:

Energieaufwand für das Erhitzen von Wasser bis zum Sieden:

 

Energie_Siedepunkt = 50 kg * 4,19 kJ/(kg*K)*(100 – 20)K = 16.760 kJ

 

Energieaufwand für die Verdampfung des Wassers:

 

Energie_Verdampfung = 50 kg * 2.257 kJ / kg = 112.850 kJ

 

Die benötigte Gesamtenergie für die Verdampfung von 50 kg Wasser beträgt somit

 

Energie_gesamt = Energie_Siedepunkt + Energie_Verdampfung = 129.610 kJ

 

Da wir diese Energiemenge innerhalb einer Stunde (3.600 Sekunden) aufbringen wollen (wir erinnern uns: Trocknungszeit soll eine Stunde betragen), ergibt sich aus dem Energiebedarf und der gewünschten Trocknungszeit folgende benötigte Leistung:

 

Leistung P = Energie_gesamt / Trocknungszeit = 129.610 kJ / 3.600 s = 36 kW

4. Sprechen Sie mit uns

Im Gespräch mit unserem Technischen Vertrieb sind diese ermittelten Grunddaten für die Wahl des richtigen Hochleistungsmikrowellengenerators ein erster Anhaltspunkt. Unsere Produktmanager berücksichtigen in einem weiterführenden Gespräch weitere Ihrer Parameter, die eventuell eine Leistungskorrektur mit sich bringen können.


Im obigen Beispiel könnte die benötigte Heizleistung von einem 50 kW-Standardgenerator geliefert werden. Müsste die Trocknung jedoch in 30 Minuten statt in einer Stunde erfolgen, wären zwei Generatoren je 50 kW erforderlich, oder gegebenenfalls ein Generator mit 75 kW oder 100 kW Ausgangsleistung.

Auf unserer Website finden Sie weitere Informationen zu unserem 50 kW-Mikrowellengenerator.


Falls Sie Fragen haben, rufen Sie uns gerne an oder senden Sie uns eine Email.

5. Kontakt

MUEGGE DEUTSCHLAND

Reichelsheim, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0) 6164-9307-0
Fax: +49 (0) 6164-9307-93
info@muegge.de
www.muegge.de

MUEGGE GERLING

Modesto, CA 95351, USA
Phone: +1-(209)-527-8960
Fax: +1-(209)-527-5385

sales@muegge-gerling.com
www.muegge-gerling.com

MUEGGE’s microwave plasma torches are microwave excited plasma sources designed to work at atmospheric pressure and to generate a contact-free plasma while ensuring stable operation for a wide parameter range of gas-types, gas flow and microwave power at 2.45 GHz and 915 MHz. MUEGGE’s microwave plasma torches are well suited for both the synthesis of special gases and for assisting chemical reactions with highly reactive gas species. This is the key for many Power-to-X applications such as Power-to-Gas and Power-to-Chemicals.

What you can expect

  1.   Atmospheric Plasma?

  2.   Wide range of services for all application areas

  3.   Power-to-X applications in industry and research

  4.   The electric gas burner – > 1400°C without chemical fuels

  5.   Conclusions

1. Atmospheric Plasma?

In physics, a technical plasma is described as the 4th aggregate state of matter and it consists of ions and electrons as well as other excited gas species and highly reactive charge carriers. Since in almost complete local thermal equilibrium with a high degree of ionization, the atmospheric microwave plasma is a special form of a technical plasma. In contrast to other plasma systems, microwave plasma is generated in non-contact cavity resonators and does not cause burn-off of energy-carrying electrodes or media contamination due to contact between plasma and hot gas-carrying components. The plasma torches have been measured to achieve gas temperatures of up to 3500 K, temperature determined by optical emission spectroscopy.

 

2. Wide range of services for all application areas

The new generation of MUEGGE’s microwave powerheads enables the built of compact plasma sources at atmospheric pressure used for both surface and volume treatment. The Atmospheric Plasma Source (APS) can operate at microwave frequencies of 2.45 GHz and 915 MHz. Figure 1 shows two Muegge microwave plasma torches running at 2.45 GHz, 6 kW (left) and 3 kW (right). Microwaves are fed into the plasma source as to create a very high electromagnetic field concentration in the middle of the microwave cavity. In this region, the plasma is ignited and sustained. Several kilowatts of microwave power can be absorbed by the plasma, as such leading to gas temperatures up to 3500 K.


Figure 1: 2.45 GHz microwave plasma torches running at 6 kW (left) and 3 kW (right)

 

The APS systems are available up to 6 kW at 2.45 GHz and up to 75 kW at 915 MHz. Processes are easy to scale from a 2.45 GHz lab-system for development to an industrial 915 MHz high-volume system. Footprints of two different systems are shown in figure 2.

 

 

Figure 2

Figure 2: 2.45 Scalability from a 2.45 GHz to 915 MHz

 

While APS systems operate without an isolation between the process area and the surrounding, the downstream source separates the process gases from the environment. Such a system is designed to cover the pressure regime between 10-500 mbar and operates up to 75 kW (figure 3). These unique properties make it a primary choice for the treatment of huge gas flows.

 

 

Figure 3

Figure 3: 915 MHz microwave plasma downstream source running at 60 kW


3. Power-to-X applications in industry and research

During periods of high output, electrical energy production from renewable energy sources,e.g., sun, wind, water, can easily exceed demand and as such, the surplus usually gets wasted. To maintain a stable public mains electricity supply, surplus energy from renewable sources has to be stored, which at present is a big challenge, probably the biggest challenge of the energy transition. Power-to-X is a general term summarizing all technologies for the conversion of surplus energy from renewable sources into storable matter. Power-to-X has two big advantages over other technologies:

  • Storable matter can be converted back to energy anytime and is easily transportable using existing infrastructure;
  • It serves as basic material to produce for example, more complex molecules for the chemical industry or CO2-neutral synthetic fuels to replace fossil fuels.

Figure 4 shows some examples of Power-to-X applications based on microwave plasma technology.

 

Figure 4 rechts

Figure 4: Some examples of Power-to-X applications based on microwave plasma technology (left) and standard 6 kW, 2.45 GHz APS (right)

Storage of surplus electrical energy from renewable sources is a crucial factor for maintaining the stability of the public mains electricity supply. Carbon dioxide (CO2) conversion is a promising approach for storing surplus renewable energy. The concept of CO2 conversion is based on the dissociation of CO2 into oxygen radicals (O) and carbon monoxide radicals (CO) in an atmospheric pressure microwave plasma process, see Figure 5.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an industrial gas, which is widely used in industrial chemical manufacturing. CO can be converted into base chemicals and chemical energy carriers such as methanol or methane using existing infrastructures via conventional chemical processes.

 

 


Figure 5: Schematic of CO2 conversion for Power-to-Chemicals applications.

 

CO2 conversion can be efficiently performed with a high-power microwave plasma torch using excess electrical energy from renewable sources. After the separation of the oxygen from the gas mixture, the remaining CO can be converted into syngas or into higher hydrocarbons. Hence, a zero-emission carbon cycle can be established.

 

This is shown in Figure 6 using a perovskite membrane.

 

 

Figure 6: Laboratory setup for CO2 conversion using an atmospheric pressure microwave plasma torch and the subsequent separation of obtained CO using a perovskite membrane

In university research, the microwave plasma torches are not only used for carbon dioxide (CO2) conversion but also for the analysis and the optimization of high temperature combustion processes (projects funded by EU).

As shown in Figure 7, the microwave plasma torch can achieve an unrivalled flexibility for the supply of inert hot gases due to a very fast starting behaviour and a thermal application range exceeding by far any conventional heat exchanger.

 

 


Figure 7: Hot combustion tests with 915 MHz plasma torch for engine and fuel research at TU Darmstadt

4. The electric gas burner - > 1400°C without chemical fuels

Another interesting application of the microwave plasma torch is the supply of hot gases. Dedicated plasma systems are available for different pressure ranges and for a large variety of applications, including surface-activation, oxidation-free processing of raw materials under inert gases, and CVD processes for growing synthetic crystals, i.e. carbon deposition.
The 915 MHz microwave plasma torch shown in Figure 8 operating between 20 kW and 75 kW can achieve a gas outlet temperature above 1400 °C at gas flows above 120 m³/h.

 

 

Figure 8

Figure 8: Flame of the 915 MHz plasma torch at 60 kW microwave power

The high efficiency and versatility of the 915 MHz plasma torches allows the direct replacement of traditional gas or liquid fuel burners in existing furnace systems, especially for low load modulation furnaces. Moving from conventional energy sources to electrically driven microwave or plasma heating, customers can dramatically lower their cost of ownership (CoO) and cut down the expenses related to process CO2 footprint according to the requirements of our future industrial environment.

 

 

5. Conclusions

Due to its wide and versatile utilization range, MUEGGE’s latest generation of atmospheric pressure microwave plasma torches enables a wide range of industrial and research processes. The burner technology offers highly efficient and economic applications for:

  • Production of synthesis gas;
  • Cracking of hydrocarbons in reforming processes;
  • Heating of inert gases;
  • Usage as CO2-neutral gas burner.

The contactless plasma generation within a resonator structure is the key property of these microwave energy driven high temperature applications. At the same time, microwave plasma systems offer the best alternative to build decentralized supply networks with CO2-neutral hydrogen-based fuel gases for energy storage or for direct and location-independent use.
Power-to-X technologies based on microwave heating and microwave plasma processes are innovative solutions to convert electrical energy from renewable sources into material resources such as hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and synthetic gases for storage and recycling, e.g., conversion of electrical energy into gaseous or liquid fuels or chemicals for long-haul trucking, shipping and aviation.

 

 

Rework and Removal of C-based Materials –
A challenge not only for semiconductor manufacturer

The deposition of carbon-based materials plays a major role in semiconductor industries. Lithography is not possible without the related photoresists. Residue free cleaning of C-based materials always was and will be challenging, even more with the industry moving towards advanced material, e.g., low-k materials, C-doped oxide, diamond like carbon (DLC), diamond. As the market of diamond deposition and laboratory grown diamond is constantly growing, it is critical to have the proper tool to clean off the residuel black carbon without damaging the diamond structure.

Microwave Plasma – Isotropic cleaning means soft and efficient cleaning

Due to its nature, the RF-plasma exposes the substrate to an energetic interaction with the plasma. Ions accelerating towards the substrate result in physical damage and contamination of the materials to be cleaned. in the removal of black carbon on diamond just a little amount of RF-bias may cause damage of the crystal structure and consequentially, irreversible discoloration. In contrast, microwave assisted plasma systems are capable to clean fast, efficient and with no impact to the substrate1.


Using MUEGGE’s microwave assisted plasma systems, the energy transfer to the substrate is extremely low, no ions are released into the process chamber. As a result, the substrate remains untouched, the active cleaning mechanism is the chemical reaction with black carbon or other carbon based residues. As the reaction is purely isotropic, no direct exposure of the residues to the plasma is required, which makes it extremely favorable for any 3D structures like MEMS or MMS.

 

1 Amorn THEDSAKHULWONG and Warawoot THOWLADDA. Journal of Metals, Materials and Minerals. Vol. 18 No. 2 pp. 137-141, 2008

 

MUEGGE’s solution – STP Product Family

MUEGGE STP Tools
  • Microwave assisted plasma efficiently uses the energy to form highly reactive, neutral particles called radicals. No ions being released into the process chamber, no damage nor contamination of the substrate is created. Therefore the MW-assisted remote plasma system is ideal for black carbon removal on diamonds or DLC. Visual aspect and physical properties of the substrate are preserved.

 

  • The radicals released from the MW assisted plasma guarantee smooth, pure chemical cleaning. As a consequence, the physical impact is extremely low and isotropic residue removal prevents further damage of the substrate material.

Microwave assisted plasma for removal of C-based materials

Figure 1
Figure 1: Temperature heating and cooling over time at a microwave power of PMW = 2000 W.

As shown in Figure 1, the radical-only formation results in little to no interaction with the substrate and the plasma chamber (low temperature), no ions in the chamber means contamination free processing. The pure chemical cleaning process can be fine-tuned without need to take physical etching into consideration.

Advantages of microwave assisted plasma cleaning

Microwave-assisted plasma allows to remove carbon based residues as well as black carbon for semiconductor applications and diamond processing.
Due to the physical properties, MW assisted plasma is specially designed for fast but smooth etching without the typical ion-attack observed for RIE systems (RF-based plasma). The radicals generated in the plasma initiate the chemical reaction at the surface only. Without measurable electrical fields and ions present at substrate level, no ion-induced physical damage occurs.
MW assisted plasma is highly environmentally compliant due to highly efficient dissociation of process gases like CF4 and NF3.

The reflected power is defined as the portion of the generated microwave power that is not coupled into the process and that returns back to the generator. In microwave processes this is an important parameter employed to assess the efficiency of the microwave energy transfer into the material(s) to be heated or into the plasma. This article describes what the reflected power value means, which parameters influence the reflection of the microwaves and how to minimize the reflected power.

One of the advantages of microwave plasma systems is that, unlike in RF (radio frequency) plasma systems, the reflected power does not cause any direct damage and can be used for process optimization.

Explanation of a microwave (-plasma) system

In the following example a classical microwave plasma system is described using the model of an atmospheric burner.

Figure 1: Functional model of a microwave system with (1) microwave generator; (2) Isolator; (3) 3-stub tuner; (4) atmospheric burner (as representative for any application)
  1. The microwave generator driven by a high voltage power supply (usually a switching mode) produces microwave power via a magnetron; in the example of Figure 1, at 2.45 GHz frequency. 
  2. The isolator is a two-port device that allows the microwave power to pass from the microwave generator to the load but not to return back to the magnetron/generator if reflected power is created. The most common use of such device is to protect the magnetron from the damaging effects that reflected power can have. At the entrance of the isolator, the reflected power –  usually created by a poorly absorbing load – is diverted to and absorbed by a perfectly matched water load and dissipated as heat in the circulating water.
  3. The three-stub tuner is an optional component that allows for a wide process window of the system by matching the impedance of the magnetron to the impedance of the load (e.g. plasma). For very dynamic processes it is useful to run the tuner automatically. However, if a process undergoes little changes, i.e. is stable for microwave coupling, the impedances can be permanently matched from the beginning of the process. In this case the matching can be done via individual, fixed tuning elements.
  4. Load represented by an Atmospheric Plasma Source (APS)

Reflected power as a cause of impedance mismatch

Root cause

Reflected power always occurs when the components of the plasma system (i.e. microwave generator and plasma source) are not properly matched. In microwave processes this occurs due to changes of waveguide geometry, line geometry (coaxial conductor, stripline etc.), but also due to the change of the dielectric load in the process chamber. Thereby the microwave coupling can vary due to changes of the process material, evaporating water, plasma ignition, temperature, pressure etc., which requires an adjustment of the impedance matching in order to decrease the reflected power. The more abruptly these changes occur in the system, the more difficult it becomes to compensate for the mismatch with a single matching element.

All these effects can be explained by impedance matching and visualized by means of a Smith chart. The generator and the load can be assigned (frequency-dependent) complex impedances, which are matched by a complex matching network. The matching network is built by ideally resistive free inductors and capacitors. In the case of Figure 1, this corresponds to the three tuning stubs of the tuner, which can be lowered into the waveguide at different depths.

Significance for MW (microwave) processes

Due to the existence of the isolator as a protective element, the creation of reflected power does not represent a major issue for the hardware used in microwave applications: the reflected power is absorbed by the water load of the isolator and converted into heat even if the reflected power is 100 % of the power generated by the microwave generator. The reflected power is usually measured at the isolator level and as such, the operator can calculate how much power is absorbed by the load. In general, a microwave process should be operated at the lowest value of the reflected power in order to run the application with maximum energy efficiency.

Significance for RF (radio frequency) processes

Due to RF plasma operation at lower frequency by comparison to microwave frequencies (e.g., 13.56 MHz vs. 2.45 GHz), isolators are not available in RF plasma processes and the reflected power becomes critical. High reflected power in the RF process chamber can cause damage to components by unwanted arcing and in the worst case, the reflected power can destroy the generator.

Impedance matching

Manual/Automatic

For standard systems, various tuning elements can be used. Besides the already mentioned 3-stub tuner, plate (iris) tuners or E-H tuners can be used. The tuners can be operated manually or automatically to minimise the reflected power by changing the wave transmission behavior from the generator to the load as to optimize the matching.

Fixed Tuning

If a system is very well designed, the wave transmission properties can be predicted. In this case the geometry of the transition can be fixed and does not need additional adjustment and no moving elements will be required. 

 

An example of such a system is shown in Figure 2. The special sequence of the components (magnetron, coupling stage, circulator, transition into the source, power output to the plasma) allows a perfect matching of the impedances, which ensures an almost zero reflected power system.

Figure 2: Compact RPS ("Remote Plasma Source"), which is perfectly matched by design. For high volume production environments, the units are copy exact and immediately usable without any tuning.

Conclusions

The reflected power is a process parameter observed in all plasma processes. In microwave processes the existence of the reflected power is, in contrast to RF (radio frequency) processes, a relatively uncritical parameter. The reflected power value should be as low as possible, to optimize the efficiency of the process.

Even small reflections in RF processes can lead to unwanted discharges (arcing) or even to destruction of the generator; in microwave systems the reflected power is a measure for the efficiency of the process. The lower the reflected power, the higher the power available to the process. In microwave processes the reflected power is absorbed by the isolator’s water load and eliminated as heat without endangering any parts of the plasma system.

Chamber-Clean after Dielectrics Deposition – A case for isotropic microwave plasma

As deposition is one of the pillars of semiconductor production, it depends on a controlled, repeatable and clean environment. One challenge of the deposition process is, that deposition does not only occur on the substrate but also on the chamber walls. This is a permanent threat of particles and contamination. Hence, the complete and repeatable cleaning of the process-chamber is key for layer quality as critical dimensions keep challenging physical limits.

 

Microwave plasma is the perfect solution for removing such thick coating off the chamber walls. The advantage of microwave (MW) plasma over RF-plasma makes the difference – chamber walls can be cleaned even without direct expose to the plasma source due to its unique property of microwave.

Microwave Plasma – Isotropic and fast clean

When it comes to chamber clean, RF-plasma is not ideal due to its anisotropic properties. As ion bombardment is inherent to RF-plasma, it required direct exposure of the parts to be cleaned. In reality, parts of the chamber walls are hidden to the plasma source which causes incomplete clean and subsequent flaking, particles and low yield. Microwave assisted plasma clean is the solution to this problem. The generated radicals reach hidden and protected areas of the chambers which are invisible to the RF-source.

Muegge remote microwave-plasma addresses these issues

Wide process range

The Muegge remote plasma clean is available for all materials which do not require corrosive chemistry, e.g.:

 

Advantages of microwave assisted plasma process

Semiconductor manufacturing requires repeatable process conditions and clean process chambers. Microwave-plasma allows to clean fast without eroding sensitive components in the chamber (i.e. electrostatic chuck). It provides the capability for complete removal of dielectrics and organic layers at high speed (>200 µm/h) and high selectivity with no altering of chamber surfaces. The radicals generated produce chemical reactions at the surface, leading to pure chemical etching at high rates with extremely low thermal load. Microwave assisted plasma is highly environmentally compliant due to nearly complete dissociation of process gases like CF4.

The alternative to mined diamonds are lab-grown diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are chemically, physically, optically and visually identical to mined diamonds. In this deep-dive about diamonds, you will learn how microwave energy is able to generate high temperature gas plasma with unique properties for diamond deposition plasma processes – with highly advanced technology from the world’s top supplier and expert in the field of industrial microwave technology: MUEGGE.

Prerequisite for success: Microwave energy

For growing real diamonds, the high frequency coupling of microwave energy produces very high plasma density with low sheath potential for an efficient, yet gentle process. The microwave systems produced by MUEGGE are used to generate plasma for man-made diamond applications.

Turn-key CVD diamond systems for both research and production are currently working at 2.45 GHz and 915 MHz frequencies and at powers ranging from 6 to 100 kW.

Industrial microwave systems typically use a variety of standardized or customized waveguide components for delivery of microwave energy, each having a specific and necessary function. 

The individual components are usually available in several different types and waveguide sizes offering different performance characteristics that are well suited for specific heating applications. They can also be arranged in any of several different configurations as required by the application. As a result, the system designer is presented with a wide variety of often difficult choices of components and configurations.

Second ingredient: Choosing the right system and components for you

Our experts are happy to assist and consult you regarding the special characteristics you may need for your project. Our engineers know industrial processes and requirements in depth and are able to simulate and develop prototypes with state of the art 3D visualisation tools.

Third step to success: Take advantage of switch-mode technology

MUEGGE microwave generators typically include a switch-mode power supply. A switched-mode power supply (SMPS) is an electronic power supply that incorporates a switching regulator to convert electrical power very efficiently. This higher power conversion efficiency is an important advantage of the switched-mode power supply and also substantially reduces the overall size and weight of the unit. MUEGGE’s switch-mode power supplies can also be configured with a variety of options making these the most customizable power supply choice and an ideal power source for most industrial microwave heating applications.

Fourth component: A compact magnetron head

Muegge’s MH-Series magnetron heads offer a variety output power and configuration styles. Key features include compact designs, standard waveguide and coaxial output flanges; magnetrons are air or water/air-cooled. The MH-series also offers a variety of options including integrated isolator, reflected HR output power measurement and arc detection.

The ideal set-up for a robust lab-diamond process

The excellent output power stability in combination with an extraordinary robustness against effects caused by non-conformal grid instabilities make MUEGGE microwave generators your first choice for long term processes like diamond deposition. MUEGGE offers support for the microwave design and for customer specific developments in the complete range of microwave and microwave diagnostic for diamond deposition processes. 

 

Feel free to contact us for individual consultation, from expert to expert: 

Let’s bring power to your project.

 

They sparkle like mined gemstone, they look like “real” diamonds, and yet, there is one crucial difference:

Lab-grown or man-made diamonds do not bear the risk of supporting inethical actions in regions of the world where human rights might be violated. A decisive factor – considering that consumers demand increasing transparency from companies. Find out about diamond’s conflict-free twin and the futuristic microwave technology

that makes it grow, shine and thrive.

 

 

Lab-grown diamonds are chemically, physically, optically and visually identical to mined diamonds.

The beauty of man-made diamonds

Man-made diamonds, also known as engineered or cultured diamonds are grown in highly controlled laboratory environments using advanced technological microwave plasma processes that generate conditions under which diamonds can grow fed from an excited gas phase in a quality as if they were formed in the mantle, beneath the Earth’s crust. These man made diamonds consist of actual carbon atoms arranged in the characteristic diamond crystal structure. Since they are made of the same material as
natural diamonds, they exhibit the same optical and chemical properties and are a great alternative against mined diamonds.

Lab grown diamonds
Source: https://newgrowndiamond.com/blog/why-de-beers-play-an-important-role-in-lab-grown-diamonds-industries

Synthetic diamonds: How it’s done

Diamonds are grown by using a process known as chemical vapor deposition. Tiny diamond fragments, diamond seeds, are placed onto a silicon wafer which is then heated up by a plasma. Plasma is the fourth state of matter and can be thought of as a really hot gas. So hot, in fact, that molecules and atoms are no longer the only species in the gas phase, and instead a soup of ions and electrons, radicals and reactive species whizzing around each other exists. 

 

The plasma, made of hydrogen and carbon, either dissolves the diamond seeds or creates an environment that make them form to grow larger diamonds. If, however, this process goes wrong you can end up with just plain graphite rather than the glittering diamonds you were seeking.

A controllable process without high pressure

The Chemical Vapor Deposition process, which became viable in the 1980s, does not require high pressure.

 

A hydrocarbon and hydrogen gas mixture is ionized by microwaves in a vessel at temperatures of about 800 degrees Celsius. This breaks the molecular bonds of the gases, enabling carbon atoms to be deposited on a diamond seed. Growing first slowly into a crystal microscopical layer by layer over days and weeks until the desired size is achieved.

 

Many of the industrial lab-grown diamonds companies use CVD, which gives the diamond creator greater control over the process.  This process control is necessary for production of large volumes of gem-quality diamonds rather than industrial-quality stones for purposes such as cutting machinery.

Principle of Microwave Plasma CVD of diamond
© Hiroki Kondo, Schematic of microwave plasma-enhanced CVD system used for the growth of diamond, NCD and CNT
© Fraunhofer IAF
muegge-blog-lab-grown-diamonds

Interested in details?

A leading innovator in microwave and plasma technology, MUEGGE produces systems and components to generate high temperature gas plasma with unique properties for diamond deposition plasma processes. 

Read more about our specialized process to produce lab-grown diamonds.

While developing thermoprocessing equipment, testing of prototypes and numerous repetitions cost plenty of
time and resources. 3D simulation capabilities allow you to speed up your prototyping phase, implement
adjustments promptly whilst offering a detailed and comprehensive view to optimize your microwave
application. Learn what you can get out of virtual prototyping tools as we use them at MUEGGE, to power
your projects.

Choose the ideal simulation method for your project

3D simulation tools cast a realistic and accurate view on your power requirements, applicator dimensions and impedance matchings without having to deal with the production of complex samples. But not every tool and method makes sense for anyone – to save time and achieve best results, consult experts to analyse your microwave material properties and suggest the simulation and analysis variant that fits best to your project goal.

Use high performance 3D-analyzing for maximum speed and precision

Don’t compromise on the quality of your microwave simulation tools – low-performing server structures or outdated systems corrupt the advantages you get from this technology. By using a high-performance 3D-electromagnetic-analysing software it is possible to carry out jobs such as 3D-designing, EM-analysing or optimizing electromagnetic components within a short time with the utmost precision. Simulation possibilities at MUEGGE, for example, embrace a wide field of applications starting from a simple coupling analysis of waveguide components to a complete simulation of the field strength distribution in complex multimode applications.

Visualization from flexible nanostructures to industrial multi-hybrid-application

Picture 01: Vertical power splitter with variable coaxial transition and WR975 mode converter

Take advantage of hybrid simulation

Gather comprehensive datasets for scaling processes and expanding the good’s output by coupling individual solver types. These hybrid simulations enable you to analyse and virtualise the complex coaction of high frequency energy and additive electromagnetic influencing systems in an efficient and, at the same time, simple way. This is crucial to determine the efficiency factor of antenna systems or heating performance of resonators.

Picture 02: 4-way high power combiner with adjustable coaxial impedance couplers

Employ 3D-filter structures as basis for EMV and labor security

Thanks to 3D-HF-structure simulations it is possible to reproducibly design frequency microwave filter systems for a low-emission operation of half-open, continuously operating microwave applicators. By a continuous spatial optimization of the choke inlet and outlet structures we are able to consistently guarantee the observation of EMV-threshold values for all applications that are heated by microwaves or by hybrid technologies.

3D simulation in short: Reducing time, improving quality

The consequent utilization of the 3D-simulation as a direct process step in your microwave component
development allows compliance with shortest possible development cycles – no need for long test series with complex sample types and numerous repetitions. It offers considerable advantages for a prompt product adjustment at very low development costs. Ask our experts how we can bring simulation power to your project – just mail, call or ping us on LinkedIn.

Fast, efficient, flexible. For many years already the process design in high performance vulcanization is revolutionized by microwave and microwave-hybrid-applications. The advantages are very obvious; you swiftly reach a high vulcanization temperature and hence significantly reduce your exposure time. The precise design of the microwave-antennas, optimized in 3D simulation calculations, can also make your vulcanization processes significantly more efficient. Refresh and deepen your knowledge about this efficient vulcanization technology with an expert’s dive into the winning attributes of microwave applications.

Homogenous core temperatures over any strand cross-section

Microwave and microwave-hybrid-applications are perfectly suitable for the heating and vulcanization of synthetic and caoutchouc polymers since these polymer blends absorb electromagnetic waves very well. The typical polymers such as EPDM (Ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber), NBR (Nitrile butadiene rubber) or SBR (Styrene butadiene rubber) absorb over a wide temperature range between 10 °C and 170 °C nearly the complete amount of energy that is provided in the microwave frequency bands around 2.45 GHz and 915 MHz. It is also possible to create application and process variations by a microwave additional heating to reach higher vulcanization temperatures faster and therefore reduce the exposure time significantly.

3D simulation based antenna and channel design

The design of the microwave-injecting antennas has a crucial influence on the aspired energy distribution in the heating channel. Corresponding to the aim a strong focus on profiles or profile areas is as possible as a homogenous filling of the entire cavity for the processing of highly porous foam and sponge rubber products. For positioning and alignment of the individual antennas of the microwave system are crucial the entire dimensions of the channel cross section as well as the character of walls and transportation system. Using 3D simulation calculation during the design of the heating area we optimize the ideal radiation geometry, alongside the transport direction or across the material cross section as well as the type of the microwave antenna. At the same time it is possible to take in to account of high-density profile areas as for example with PPP-elements (polypara phenylen) or integrated metal inlays via the design of microwave coupling as coaxial antenna system, a slotted waveguide antenna or a horn or fan horn structure.

Microwave generators for all power ranges

The antenna system’s supply with microwave energy is realized by serveral, independently adjustable power generators with switch mode power supplies with adjustable microwave power from 1000 W up to 15 kW at 2.45 GHz and 5 kW to 100 kW at 915 MHz. The combination of high-performance generators with more than 6 kW output power and lossless power splitting enable the connection of several antennas to an antenna array and hence to an in-phase energy coupling across wide process tunnel areas. This controlled energy supply permits the construction of heating channels with minimal cross-coupling between the generators and thus an extraordinary utilization of the microwave energy supplied.

A vulcanization solution, tailored to your requirements

No matter whether you require a new highly flexible vulcanization channel with homogenous energy distribution or a low-loss reflector system for efficiency improvement of your existing applicator setup, the microwave technology may offer you an optimal solution. Consult your MUEGGE engineering team for the latest possibilities as well as tailor-made or standard solutions that support your vulcanization project.

High Dose Implant Strip (HDIS) – Challengeable process in semiconductor manufacturing

Photoresist strip after high dose implant strip remains one of the most demanding processes in
semiconductor industry. The challenge is to remove both the crust (or hardened layer formed during implant) and the soft bulk resist without burning the crust and therefore, without leaving carbonized residues which are very difficult to clean off. Controlled removal of hardened organic material and untouched resist at low temperature is key to cleanliness.

Microwave Plasma – Isotropic resist removal with least thermal load

Due to the nature of the RF-plasma, it exposes the substrate to a relative high intake of charged species (ions). These ions transfer kinetic energy when hitting the surface and cause the substrate to heat up. High temperature is very unfavorable to the post high dose implant strip as it will participate to further baking and hardening of the photoresist crust. Cooling of the substrate helps to prevent volume heating-up of the substrate but it cannot avoid local heating of the surface where the actual reaction takes place. Hence, even if the average temperature is kept low, the local temperature remains high
since the underlying reaction (ion-sputtering) is not affected by the cooling. Using Muegge’s microwave assisted plasma systems, the energy transfer is extremely low, no charged particles are formed which could be released into the process chamber. As a result the substrate remains cold, the only heat-source it is the chemical reaction of the exothermic photoresist removal. As the reaction heat is a direct result of the resist-strip process, it can be easily controlled by the process conditions.

MUEGGE’s solution – accurate, reliable and repeatable

Microwave assisted plasma efficiently uses the energy to form highly reactive, neutral particles called radicals. No ions are formed which are the carriers of kinetic energy, causing the substrate to heat up. Therefore the microwave-assisted remote plasma system is ideal for post high dose implant strip where temperature control is critical – no additional polymerization or carbonization occurs and the implanted photoresist can be removed smoothly.

The radicals released from the microwave assisted plasma guarantee a smooth, pure chemical removal of the damaged photoresist. As a consequence, the thermal load is extremely low which guarantees isotropic photoresist removal without further carbonization of the damaged photoresist.

Microwave assisted plasma for flexible process control at low temperature

Figure 1: Applicator surface temperature heating and cooling over time at 2000 W microwave power
Figure 2: Average relative etch rates of standard photoresist at 3000 W constant microwave power with or without CF4 at T = 150 °C and heating plate off

Radical-only formation results in little to no interaction with the surrounding surface of the plasma chamber, the temperature remains low (Figure 1). The pure chemical HDIS-process can be fine-tuned
for the three steps of the removal process:

No ions mean no need for additional cooling of the substrate.

Advantages of radical based post high dose implant strip

The three steps of high dose implant strip require appropriate flexibility to meet the different demands of each step (Figure 2). Microwave assisted plasma allows to cut through the crust, remove the bulk resist without blistering or resist burning and removed residues softly and with high selectivity during over-ash. Due to the physical properties, microwave assisted plasma is specially designed for fast but smooth ashing without attacking sensitive areas. The radicals generated in the plasma initiate the chemical reaction at the surface only. Without measurable electrical fields and ions present at substrate level, no plasma induced charging damage of critical structures occurs. Microwave assisted plasma is highly environmentally compliant due to nearly complete dissociation of process gases like CF4.

Tel.: +49 (0) 6164 – 9307 – 0

Fax: +49 (0) 6164 – 9307 – 93

info@muegge.de

MUEGGE Group

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64385 Reichelsheim

Germany

Tel.: +1-209-527-8960

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sales@muegge-gerling.com

Gerling Applied Engineering, Inc.

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Modesto, CA 95358-0816

USA

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