Publication date: Sep 19, 2023
Non-thermal plasma (NTP) is a well-known decontamination tool applicable for a wide range of microorganisms and viruses. Since the recent COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to decontaminate all daily used items, it is highly desirable to address the applicability of NTP, including its possible harmful effects. To the best of our knowledge, a comprehensive characterization of NTP effects on sensitive materials is still lacking. We investigated the potential damage to common materials of daily use inflicted by air atmospheric NTP generated in Plasmatico v1. 0. The materials tested were paper, various metals, and passive and active electronic components modelling sensitive parts of commonly used small electronic devices. The NTP-exposed paper remained fully usable with only slight changes in its properties, such as whitening, pH change, and degree of polymerization. NTP caused mild oxidation of copper, tinned copper, brass, and a very mild oxidation of stainless steel. However, these changes do not affect the normal functionality of these materials. No significant changes were observed for passive electronic components; active components displayed a very slight shift of the measured values observed for the humidity sensor. In conclusion, NTP can be considered a gentle tool suitable for decontamination of various sensitive materials.
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