Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology
Felix-Hausdorff-Str. 2
17489 Greifswald
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The Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology (INP) is the largest non-university institute in the field of low temperature plasmas, their basics and technical applications in Europe. The institute carries out research and development from idea to prototype. The topics focus on the needs of the market. At present, plasmas for materials and energy as well as for environment and health are the focus of interest.

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High-speed thermal microscopy of plasma microprinting at atmospheric pressure

The HelixJet ( was applied to simultaneous melting and plasma treatment of polyamide (PA 12) microparticles (diameter 60 µm) used conventionally for 3D printing by laser sintering. This proof-of-principle experiment demonstrated that gaussian thickness profiles of PA 12 can be printed using the HelixJet with a rapid rate of 200 mg/s (peak growth 2 mm/s) and with advantageous material properties. The key element of this novel process is the self-regulated balance between material melting and plasma quenching. As a result, particles leaving the HelixJet with the gas flow velocity have a temperature slightly below the melting temperature preventing material degradation that would occur at higher temperatures. The above process has been captured with a high-speed infrared camera. The resulting movie combines the best temporal and spatial resolution for the studied process and reveals the particle temperature of 180°C to 190°C and their velocity of 0.5 m/s to 3 m/s depending on the radial position.

Release Date
Permanent Identifier (DOI)
Permanent Identifier (URI)
Is supplementing
Plasma Source Name
Plasma Source Application
Plasma Source Specification
Plasma Source Properties

Non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma jet (capacitively coupled). Power: 50 W; Frequency: 27.12 MHz; Flow rate: 1000 sccm Ar; Electrodes: helical configuration with inclination angle 33°; Capillary: inner diameter 7 mm.

Plasma Source Procedure
The measurements occur 30 minutes after temperature conditioning of the plasma source.
Plasma Medium Name
Plasma Medium Properties
Flowrate: 1000 sccm; Pressure: 1 bar; Temperature: 300 to 1000 K; Purity: argon 6.0
Plasma Medium Procedure
Standard conditions of the argon gas are assured.
Plasma Target Name
Plasma Target Properties
Polyamide 12 powder with mean diameter of 60 µm at room temperature.
Plasma Target Procedure
Dosis: 10 mg in 50 ms introduced in the argon flow. Footprint area: 1 cm² at 1 cm below the outlet of the jet.
Plasma Diagnostics Name
Plasma Diagnostics Properties

The process has been captured with a high-speed infrared camera Flir SC6801 F/2.5 3-5 µm combined with infrared microscope objective ×1 at the frame rate of 2 kHz (320×256 pixel). The optic system with InSb detector (640×512 pixel) is calibrated for temperatures from -10°C to 350°C. The working distance was 6.1 mm from the axis of the HelixJet.

Public Access Level
Contact Name
Schäfer, Jan
Contact Email

Data and Resources