RF Energy is Revolutionizing Plasma Technology

RF Energy 
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Raghav Kapur - everything RF

Sep 20, 2017


The new solid-state RF energy technology will revolutionize many sectors. One example is medical technology, where it enables new gentle and efficient surgical methods.

If today a patient can be discharged from the hospital the day after a complex operation, this is due to scalpels which no longer have much in common with the old surgical knives made of metal. With plasma scalpels, doctors can cut very precisely, but above all, they have the advantage that the cuts heal much faster and better than if conventional metal scalpels were used. However, there is a disadvantage: patients must lie on a metal plate, the required power is 400W.

On the other hand, new plasma scalpels based on RF energy technology do not require a closed circuit. The new technology, therefore, has the potential to revolutionize the surgical technique.

But this is by no means everything: RF energy also offers substantial benefits in a wide range of other sectors. In the future, electrodes are no longer required to generate plasmas in lamps. Compared with previous plasma lamps, with the new technology, efficiency and lifetime increase, while the price decreases.

A great advantage of solid-state RF energy is the high frequency with which the plasma is generated. Because, at high frequencies, only the lighter electrons move very rapidly, while the much slower ions largely remain in their place. In this way, it is possible to produce a high energy density at low temperatures in the plasma. This is precisely what was not possible with previous technologies such as spark discharge jet or arc discharge jet. This has to date, greatly limited the use of plasmas for the activation of surfaces. Because, many materials may not be heated above 80°C. Now, the surfaces of almost all objects can be treated with plasmas, which leads to faster and thus also much more cost-effective processes in many sectors. In addition, these plasmas, generated by microwave energy, generate much less ozone.

High energy densities are just as decisive for the above mentioned plasma scalpels as for new ignition systems in engines. Research and industry are also working closely together in this area in order to bring RF energy into real applications in the near future.

Conversely, the technology is also suitable for generating large plasmas with a low energy density. The use of semiconductors leads to a fall in prices of the relevant devices – for example, air purification.

And another example: RF energy will set new standards in microwave ovens. By replacing the magnetrons, it not only enables a smaller size, but also a longer lifetime, more uniform heating, and many selection and control options. Therefore, microwave ovens can be precisely set to the requirements of the specific food to be cooked. The cooking results are reproducible, regardless of the quantity, and the cooked food from the new ovens retains more of its nutrient content and is healthier.

At the SmarterWorld RF Energy Summit, which takes place on October 17, 2017 in Erding near Munich, Germany, you can learn more about what lies behind the new technology, which wide range of applications it is suited for, the current status that the technology has already reached and what is to be expected over the coming years. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from leading industry and research experts what is already possible and how you can now use the new technology in your products to open up new market potential. You can also learn more about the new technology in the interview with Dr. Klaus Werner, Executive Director of the RF Energy Alliance.