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Science and industry discuss innovative surface treatment at Kiel University

Press release of Kiel University

New diagnostics and maritime applications for plasma technologies

Last week, 35 representatives from science and industry met at Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU) to discuss the potential applications of atmospheric pressure plasmas. Such gas discharge plasmas are particularly suitable for coating or cleaning surfaces. Possible fields of application include not only surface technology but also maritime and medical applications. The central prerequisite for this is controllable processes. The focus of the two-day workshop, which brought together participants from all over Germany and Austria, was therefore primarily on the question of special diagnostics for comprehensively analyzing and improving these processes. The workshop was organized by the Anwenderkreis Atmosphärendruckplasma in cooperation with the Institute for Experimental and Applied Physics at CAU.

© Julia Siekmann, CAU

Unique properties characterize plasmas as the fourth state of matter in addition to solid, liquid and gas. The ionized gas mixture conducts electricity and can interact with a magnetic field. If electrical energy or heat is applied, it glows - in the form of thunderstorm lightning or in energy-saving lamps, it becomes visible in everyday life. Such a highly active environment can be used, among other things, to process surfaces. In the optical industry, for example, plasmas are used to provide eyeglass lenses with a nano-thin protective layer.

Vacuum conditions are usually required to carry out such coating processes with plasmas. However, the complex treatment environment is not suitable for all materials and applications. It is less complicated to use so-called atmospheric pressure plasmas. Their pressure corresponds to that of the atmosphere, so they can be applied to normal ambient air. In view of the relatively low gas temperatures, these are also referred to as "cold plasmas".

© Julia Siekmann, CAU

Easy integration into existing production lines

"Processes with atmospheric pressure plasmas can be integrated relatively unproblematically and comparatively inexpensively into existing production plants," emphasizes Dr. Kerstin Horn of the Atmospheric Pressure Plasma User Group. Since 2009, the nationwide exchange platform has been promoting this surface processing technology and bringing together research, plant engineering and application. Typical fields of application for atmospheric pressure plasmas are the coating of materials with corrosion or UV protection or the pretreatment of adhesive, printing and painting surfaces to improve the adhesion of metals or plastics.

The workshop, which took place this week at the Kiel Science Center, focused primarily on methods for optimizing plasma-based processes. "In order to use plasma technologies effectively in industry, we need safe, controllable processes. For this, we need to understand what happens in detail and what the central influencing factors are," said Holger Kersten, professor of plasma technology at CAU and co-organizer of the conference. At the start of the workshop, he presented various diagnostic methods, including a thermal probe developed in his research group, which measures the energy flow between plasmas and surfaces via the change in temperature - one of the key parameters in plasma processes.

© Julia Siekmann, CAU

Also maritime and medical applications

A second focus of the event was on marine applications. Disturbing biofilms form after a short time on surfaces that are in contact with seawater. Anti-fouling coatings applied with plasmas can reduce this fouling. The field of medical applications of atmospheric plasmas is still relatively new. Because of their ambient air applications and comparatively low temperature, they can be used for wound healing and as an alternative treatment method to combat multidrug-resistant germs. "Atmospheric pressure plasmas offer great potential for gentle treatment and small surgical procedures," Jan Benedikt, professor of experimental plasma physics at CAU, highlighted in his presentation. "They react very well with biological tissue and such fluids as are found in cells. What happens at this crucial zone, however, needs more research."

During the workshop, the participants also had the opportunity to visit the laboratories of the Plasma Technology (headed by Professor Holger Kersten) and Experimental Plasma Physics (headed by Professor Jan Benedikt) research groups. In Kiel, plasma physics has long been one of the focal points at the Institute for Experimental and Applied Physics. "CAU is one of the few universities in Germany that supports research and education in plasma physics with its own professorships," says Kersten, underlining the expertise at the Kiel site.

33rd ak-adp workshop starts in Kiel

The 33rd ak-adp workshop starts today at the Science Center in Kiel. Numerous representatives from industry, research and plant engineering will present and discuss current topics in the field of atmospheric pressure plasma technology. In addition to plasma diagnostics for process control and Industry 4.0, the workshop in Kiel will focus in particular on maritime plasma applications such as anti-corrosion coatings, UV protection, barrier coatings, easy-to-clean and delamination. The event will be introduced with a guided tour through the plasma physics department of the Institute for Experimental and Applied Physics at CAU Kiel, where laboratories of the AG Plasma Technology and the AG Experimental Plasma Physics will be visited.

More information

34th workshop receives certification from the LÄK Thüringen

We are pleased to announce that the 34th ak-adp workshop / 6th workshop on plasma medicine on September 11 and 12, 2019 has been recognized by the Thuringian State Medical Association as a continuing education event and evaluated as follows:

Category: A
Points: 11

Participants who wish to receive credit for continuing education are encouraged to bring their barcode labels to the event.

Call for Authors Publication 10 years ak-adp

This year, the User Group can look back on 10 years of successful work. Of course, we would like to celebrate this together with you!

In this context, the publication of an anniversary publication is planned. This will provide an up-to-date overview of the potential and possible applications of atmospheric plasmas, ranging from the many areas of technical use to medical applications as technical aids and therapeutic methods.

Contributions can be submitted for the following thematic sections / chapters:

  • Fundamentals of the technical use of atmospheric plasmas
  • ultra-fine cleaning, activation and coating
  • Plasma characterization
  • Plasma system technologyAtmospheric plasmas for surface modification
  • Adhesion improvement on plastics
  • Barrier layers against gas permeation and corrosion
  • Easy-to-clean, antimicrobial, delamination and other functionalities
  • Multifunctional coatings
  • Plasma Medicine

Furthermore, there is the possibility of a company and product presentation. The costs charged for this will be used to finance the publication. If you are interested, please contact us at and we will be happy to send you a quotation and the relevant printing criteria.

We look forward to receiving your inquiries and contributions (abstract max. ½ A4 page) by 28.02.2019.

The publication date is scheduled for the 35th ak-adp workshop on November 20-21, 2019.

The publication will be printed in an initial edition of 500 copies. An ISBN number will be requested.

The ak-adp wishes a Happy New Year 2019

We wish our colleagues, partners, participants and sponsors health, happiness and success in all areas for 2019. We are looking forward to further cooperation this year and to welcoming you again at one or the other event of the User Group.


Our dates 2019 at a glance:

33rd ak-adp workshop: plasma diagnostics and maritime plasma applications.
May 15-16, 2019
Kiel Science Center GmbH

34th ak-adp workshop / 6th workshop plasma medicine: therapeutic use of physical plasmas and plasma-treated media.
September 11-12, 2019
Protestant Augustinian Monastery, Erfurt

35th ak-adp workshop: Customized adhesion - atmospheric plasmas for optimized adhesion.
November 20-21, 2019
Caritas Pirckheimer House (CPH), Nuremberg


The ak-adp wishes Merry Christmas!

The User Group Atmospheric Pressure Plasma would like to thank colleagues, partners, participants and sponsors for the successful year, support and pleasant cooperation. We wish you all a Merry Christmas, good health and a Happy New Year 2019!

INNOVENT employee receives first prize of the DKB-VIU Young Researcher Award 2018

Dr. Sebastian Spange receives award for doctoral thesis

Yesterday, Dr. Sebastian Spange was awarded the first prize of the DKB-VIU Young Researcher Award 2018 for his doctoral thesis on "Antibacterial wound dressings coated by atmospheric pressure plasma using silver and zinc oxide as bactericidal agents".

The award ceremony took place during the congress "Innovation in SMEs - how transfer succeeds" in Berlin, which was jointly organized by VIU and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

The colleagues at INNOVENT warmly congratulate Dr. Spange on this significant award! We are proud of your scientific commitment and look forward to continuing to explore new paths together and to further develop antimicrobial research.

Laureate Dr. Sebastian Spange DKB-VIU Young Researcher Award 2018 © VIU

Thuringian scientists twice successful at the DKB and VIU Young Researcher Award

Berlin, December 6, 2018.

No less than two winners of the 2018 Young Researcher Award from Deutsche Kreditbank AG (DKB AG) and the Association of Innovative Enterprises (VIU) come from Thuringia this year. Dr. Sebastian Spange from Innovent e.V. in Jena and Gregor Böhm from the Research Center for Medical Technology and Biotechnology (fzmb GmbH) in Bad Langensalza were honored today in Berlin with a joint first prize for outstanding scientific work. Tobias Petzold from the Saxon Textile Research Institute e.V. (STFI) in Chemnitz received third prize. DKB AG and VIU awarded the prize, worth a total of 5,000 euros, for the fourth time. With this award, they are promoting close links between universities of applied sciences, colleges and universities and medium-sized industrial research with a view to practical research and securing young talent.

The award was presented at the congress "Innovation in SMEs - how transfer succeeds", jointly organized by VIU and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, by VIU CEO Dr. Ralf-Uwe Bauer and DKB AG. The five-member jury presented the award, which is presented every two years, to three men for the first time. Dr. Sebastian Spange received the first prize for the development of an antibacterial coating for wound dressings.

The results presented of his doctorate, which he completed at the University of Greifswald, showed that significantly lower concentrations of the active substance-containing, silver-equipped coating were already necessary to achieve or exceed the performance of products on the market, for example in terms of antibacterial effect. This is made possible by plasma coating under normal pressure. The technology also enabled the zinc oxide to have a very positive effect. The 35-year-old native of Erfurt has been involved in microbiological investigations for several years.

Gregor Böhm from Mühlhausen was honored for developing a rapid test for determining the live germ count in foodstuffs. Within a few seconds, the method developed by the 29-year-old award winner provides the food industry with data on the bacterial count of a sample, enabling an assessment of product safety. This is achieved through analysis with near-infrared spectroscopy, which uses short-wave infrared light. Böhm's prediction model, developed in his bachelor's thesis at the Staatliche Studienakademie Plauen, is to be integrated by fzmb GmbH as a practice partner in its mylab system.

"Innovative developments deserve success"

"The award winners have achieved great things. With their research work, they developed innovative solutions for the market. The young researchers thus create added value for society and make an important contribution to technical progress. Congratulations and keep up the good work!", says Thomas Jebsen, member of the DKB board. VIU's managing director, Dr. Annette Treffkorn, adds: "Fortunately, the transfer of concrete research results from science to industry is already beginning. The innovative developments deserve to succeed."

About the Association of Innovative Companies

Founded in 1992, the Verband Innovativer Unternehmen e.V. (VIU) stands for the strengthening of industrial research and the efficient market introduction of innovations in industrial SMEs. It represents the interests of researching SMEs and non-profit, external, non-grant-funded industrial research institutions and is the only business association that explicitly advocates the development and strengthening of industrial research potential, including in small companies.


Verband Innovativer Unternehmen e.V. || Managing Director Dr. Annette Treffkorn || Invalidenstr. 34 || 10115 Berlin || Tel: 030 440 550 20 || Fax: 030 440 550 20 || E-Mail: || Register Court: Amtsgericht Charlottenburg VR: 28785 V.i.S.d.P.: Dr. Annette Treffkorn

Welcome to the new site of ak-adp!

ak-adp stands for the user group atmospheric pressure plasma. The ak-adp is a practical user forum for all ideas concerning the innovative technology of surface processing with atmospheric pressure plasma. Every year we organize 2-3 workshops, where developers, equipment manufacturers and users can enter into a lively professional exchange. The industrial research institution INNOVENT from Jena initiated the user group in 2009 and has since reached more than 1400 interested parties.

As part of a major overhaul, the new ak-adp website is now online!

32nd ak-adp workshop in Dresden

Successful event of the Anwenderkreis on November 14 and 15, 2018 at the German Hygiene Museum, Dresden

More than 60 participants from Germany, Austria, Luxembourg and Switzerland spent 2 days discussing the latest applications of atmospheric plasmas for adhesion optimization. Developments of special system technology were as much in focus as adhesion promoting nanocoatings for various applications and the combination of technologies for surface modification. Diverse examples of the use of plasma technology in practice convincingly underlined the increasingly broad industrial application.

The workshop was rounded off with a guided tour of Volkswagen's "Transparent Factory" and the evening regulars' table at the "Pulverturm" restaurant in Dresden's city center.