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

F Fumagalli, O Kylian, Letizia Amato, J Hanus, F Rossi

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    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
    Issue number13
    Pages (from-to)135203
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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