Low pressure plasma Atmospheric plasma
Advantages Disadvantages Advantages Disadvantages
Generation of plasma
Plasma is evenly distributed inside the plasma chamber. Chamber volume can vary from 2 to 12,000 litres. Complex vacuum technology. In-line plasma applications are limited.  Plasma treatment is possible directly at the conveyor belt. In-Line suitable. No vacuum necessary. The treatable area is limited to approx 8 – 12 mm (plasma generation principle). More nozzles are required to treat larger surfaces.
Treatment of metal
Oxidation-sensitive objects can be treated with plasma. (e.g. H2 process gas) Microwave plasma  can transfer the energy to the object, which then overheats.   KHz does not cause overheating.

When aluminum is treated with plasma, very thin oxide layers (passivation) can be created.

Plasma treatment of oxidation-sensitive objects is limited.

Treatment of polymers and elastomers

PTFE can be activated with plasma. (Etching process.) Advanced plasma processes for elastomer- and PTFE gaskets have been developed and are in use.

For several materials (e.g. silicon) a bigger pump is required to reach the necessary process pressure. “Endless objects” (e.g. tubes or cables) can be treated with plasma. Very short process time. The plasma jet has a high temperature of 200 – 300 °C. Process parameters have to be well-aligned to the surface to avoid burning the material. (thin materials)
3-D Objects
All items in the plasma chamber are treated uniformly. Also cavities can be treated from inside. (e.g. water tanks, ignition coil) None known Local surface treatment is possible (e.g. gluing groove) Complex robotic technology is necessary. Treatment of surfaces with deep grooves is limited.
Bulk material
The rotary drum procedure enables uniform plasma treatment of bulk material. The quantity and volume can vary. Only 1/3 of the rotary drum volume can be used. The objects can be treated directly in-line The objects have to be positioned very accurately on the conveyor belt.
Electronic / semiconductors
Plasma treatment of electronic devices, printed circuit boards and semiconductors is state of the art. None known Plasma treatment of metal or indium tin oxide contacts is possibly directly before the bonding process. (e.g. LCD – TFT, chip production) The high temperature of the plasma jet and the reduced ability to treat surfaces with deep grooves may limit the usage of atmospheric plasma in the electronic industry.
Coating process
The coating layers are identical und uniform. Many PECVD and PVD processes have been developed and are in use. Plasma chamber can be contaminated by coating material. No industrial uses known yet. No industrial uses known yet.