This chapter reviews the use of low pressure microwave plasmas as a processing technology for both sintering and controlling the surface chemistry of porous ceramic coatings. A particular advantage of microwave processing is its ability to penetrate the surface of the workpiece; enabling rapid volumetric heating and thus reducing the need for external heat sources. The microwave plasma treatments have the ability to sinter materials in minutes rather than the hours taken using conventional furnace processing. This study provides examples of the use of these plasmas to sinter both nickel and titanium nanoparticles. These are used in the fabrication of electrodes for use in dye sensitized solar cells. Further applications of the microwave plasma treatments investigated is for their use in heat treatment to control crystalline phase transitions, as well as a rapid technique to oxidize metal surfaces.
Part of the book: Recent Advances in Porous Ceramics