Inductively coupled plasmas (ICP) enable temperatures of up to 10,000°C to be reached at atmospheric pressure. In the process, the plasma gas must be converted to the fourth state of matter. A thermal or high-voltage ignition source is required in order to start the process. This generates the first free charge carriers which are then accelerated at high voltage in the inductor's magnetic field leading to an avalanche-like ionisation of the plasma gas. The result is an electrically conductive plasma, which can undergo further induction heating.
Common plasma gases include argon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen and their mixtures. Important applications are metal particle spheroidisation, glass-surface activation, silicon melt cleaning (refining), metal-ceramic compound production and spectroscopy. TRUMPF Hüttinger generators with tube technology deliver power reliably up to 120kW at frequencies of 2 – 3MHz.