Supervision and Control of Medical Sterilization Processes Utilizing the Multipole Resonance Probe

Christian Schulz, Tim Styrnoll, Peter Awakowicz, Ilona Rolfes

IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Workshop Series on RF and Wireless Technologies for Biomedical and Healthcare Applications (IMWS-BIO 2013), pp. 1-3, DOI: 10.1109/IMWS-BIO.2013.6756158, Singapore, Dec 9 – 11, 2013


An innovative and sensitive plasma probe suitable for the supervision and control of low-temperature plasma sterilization processes is presented in this contribution. For heat or chemical sensitive materials, plasmas are an indispensable tool regarding the sterilization of surgery instruments, for example. The presented Multipole Resonance Probe (MRP) allows for the simultaneous determination of plasma density, plasma temperature, and collision frequency by a simple and fast evaluation of its frequency response. Fed by an rf-signal, the MRP yields sensitive and local measurements for the determination of lowest fluctuations and for the application of a sensor network, respectively. With a minimal distance of 3 cm between two probes, the MRP can be deployed effectively as sensor network inside the plasma for the supervision of its stability and homogeneity. Based on 3D-electromagnetic field simulations the advantages of the MRP are discussed in detail. Compared to a Langmuir probe, measurements in a Double Inductive Coupled Plasma (DICP) show the suitability of the MRP inside an argon plasma.


tags: plasma, sterilization