A portable microwave plasma torch at atmospheric pressure by making use of magnetrons operated at 2.45 GHz and used in a home microwave oven has been developed. This electrodeless torch can be used in various areas including commercial, environmental and military applications. For example, perfluorocompounds (PFCs), which have long lifetimes and serious global warming implications, are widely used during plasma etching and plasma-assisted chamber cleaning processes in chemical vapour deposition systems. The microwave torch effectively eliminates PFCs. Efficient decomposition of toluene gas indicates the effectiveness of volatile organic compound eliminations from industrial emission and the elimination of airborne chemical and biological warfare agents. The microwave torch has been used to synthesize carbon nanotubes in an on-line system, thereby providing the opportunity of mass production of the nanotubes. There are other applications of the microwave plasma torch. © 2006 IOP Publishing Ltd.
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