Ferencz S. Denes, Ph.D., “Petru Poni” Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Jassy-Romania (1972)

Emeritus Professor: Food Safety

Biological Systems Engineering
Room 229
460 Henry Mall
Madison, WI 53706
Engineering Building: Center for Plasma-Aided Manufacturing
1410 Engineering Drive; Room 101
Madison, WI 53706
Tel: (608) 265-8266 or 262-0605
Fax: (608) 262-1228 or (608) 262-3632
E-mail: denes@engr.wisc.edu

Program Affiliations

  • Material Science Program
  • Food Science (Department of Food Science-UW)
  • Food Safety (Food Research Institute-UW)

Education and Certificates

  • BS, 1965, “Gh. Asachi” Polytechnical Institute, Jassy-Romania
  • PhD, 1972, “Petru Poni” Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Jassy-Romania
  • Post Doc. Training, 1974, University of Miami-Florida, Institute for Molecular and CellularEvolution

Fields of Interest

  • Plasma-enhanced synthesis and surface modification of materials
  • Immobilization of active biomolecules onto plasma-functionalized surfaces
  • Deposition of anti-fouling and anti-microbial surface layers
  • Plasma-enhanced synthesis of nanoparticle systems
  • Development of novel non-equilibrium plasma tools


  • BSE - 875: Non-Conventional Modification of Macromolecular Material Surfaces
    This graduate level course covers topics of plasma chemistry, plasma diagnostics, bond energies, plasma-enhanced reaction mechanisms, polymer-synthesis and characteristics, plasma-enhanced surface modification of inorganic and organic macromolecular surfaces, mechanical energy-, UV radiation- and ultra sound-enhanced surface modification reactions, and characterization of modified polymer surfaces. Applications for the generation of anti-fouling thin layers on various material surfaces, synthesis of surfaces that kill bacteria on contact, immobilization of active biomolecules onto plasma-functionalized surfaces, including enzymes and DNA, and synthesis of nanoparticle systems under cold plasma environments are discussed. Emerging novel atmospheric plasma tools with potential application in surface-modification processes are also presented.


Papers Published In, or Accepted by, Referred Journals
  • Z. Q. Hua, R. Sitaru, F. Denes, and R. A. Young (P), Mechanisms of Oxygen- and Argon- RF-Plasma Induced Surface Chemistry of Cellulose, Plasmas and Polymers 2(3), 196-220 (1998).
  • S. D. Lee, M. Sarmadi, F. Denes, and J. L. Shohet, Surface Modification of Polypropylene under Argon and Oxygen-RF-Plasma Conditions, Plasmas and Polymers 2(3), 173-194 (1998).
  • R. Mahlberg, H. E. M. Niemi, F. Denes, and R.M. Rowell, Effect of Oxygen and Hexamethyldisiloxane Plasma on Morphology, Wettability and Adhesion Properties of Polypropylene and Lignocellulosics, International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives 18, 283-297, (1998).
  • R. Gamapathy, M. Sarmadi, and F. Denes, Immobilization of a-Chymotrypsin on Oxygen-RF-Plasma Functionalized PET and PP Surfaces, Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition 9(4), 389, (1998).
  • F. Denes, R. Sitaru and R. A. Young, Template Polymerization from Cold-Plasma-Enhanced Crystallinity Polymer Surfaces, Journal of Photopolymer, Science and Technology 11(2), 299, (1998).
  • F. Denes and Z. Q. Hua, Synthesis of Teflon-like Macromolecular Compounds from Dodecafluorocyclohexane and Octadecafluorodecaline under RF-Cold-Plasma Conditions, J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 71, 1627-1639 (1999).
  • F. Denes, S. Manolache and R. A. Young, Synthesis and Surface Functionalization under Cold-Plasma Conditions, J. Photopolymer Science and Technology 12 (1), 27-38 (1999).
  • S. D. Lee, S. Manolache, M. Sarmadi and F. Denes, Deposition of High Fluorine Content Macromolecular Thin Layers under Continuous-Flow-System Corona Discharge Conditions, Polymer Bulletin 43, 409-416 (1999).
  • R. Mahlberg, H. E. M. Niemi, F. S. Denes, and R. M. Rowell (P), Application of AFM on the Adhesion Studies of Oxygen-Plasma-Treated Polypropylene and Lignocellulosics, Langmuir 15(8), 2985-2992 (1999).
  • A. R. Denes, M. Tsabalala, R. Rowell, F. Denes, and R. A. Young, Hexamethyl Disiloxane-Plasma Coating of Wood Surfaces for Creating Water Repellent Characteristics, Holzforschung 53, 318-326 (1999).
  • S. Manolache, M. Sarfaty and F. Denes, RF-Frequency Effects on Molecular Fragmentation, Plasma Sources Science and Technology 9, 37-44 (2000).
  • C. Naum, S. Manolache and F. Denes, Synthesis of Teflon-like Thin Layers under Perfluoro-1-butanesulfonyl Fluoride / Methane RF-Plasma Environments, Langmuir 16(2), 749-753 (2000).
  • I. I. Negulescu, S. Despa, J. Chen, B. Collier, M. Despa, A. Denes, M. Sarmadi, and F. Denes, Characterizing Polyester Fabrics Treated in Electrical Discharges of Radio-Frequency Plasma, Textile Res. J. 70(1), 1-7 (2000).
  • A. J. Martínez, S. Manolache, V. González, R. A. Young and F. Denes, Immobilized Biomolecules on Plasma Functionalized Cellophane. I. Covalently Attached a-Chymotrypsin, J. Biomaterials Science. Polymer Edition 11(4), 415-438 (2000).
  • S. Manolache and F. Denes, Synthesis of Nanoparticles under Cold-Plasma Conditions, J. Photopolymer Sci. Technol. 13(1), 51-62 (2000).
  • R. Ganapathy, S. Manolache, M. Sarmadi, W. J. Simonsick Jr. and F. Denes, Immobilization of Active a-Chymotrypsin on RF-Plasma-Functionalized Polymer Surfaces, J. of Applied Polymer Science 78(10), 1783-1796 (2000).
  • D. Feldman, F. Denes, Z. Zeng, A. R. Denes and D. Banu, Propylene Fiber-Matrix Bonds in Cementitious Composites, J. Adhezion Sci. Technol. 14(13), 1705-1721 (2000).
  • J. C. Volin, F. S. Denes, R. A. Young and S. M. T. Park, Modification of Seed Germination through Cold-Plasma Chemistry Technology, Crop Sci. 40, 1706-1718 (2000).
  • A. R. Denes, E. B. Somers, A. C. L. Wong, and F. Denes, 12-Crown-4-Ether and Tri(ethylene glycol) Dimethyl-Ether Plasma-Coated Stainless Steel Surfaces and Their Ability to Reduce Bacterial Biofilm Deposition, J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 81, 3425-3438 (2001).
  • Y. C. Ma, S. Manolache, M. Sarmadi, and F. Denes, Plasma-Enhanced Synthesis of Maltodextrin-Polydimethylsiloxane Graft-Copolymers, J. Appl. Polymer Sci. 80(8), 1120-1129 (2001).
  • V. A. Shamamian, D. D. Hinshelwood, D. C. Guerin, F. S. Denes, and S. Manolache, Mass Spectrometric Characterization of Pulsed Inductively Coupled Plasmas for Deposition of Thin Polyethylene Glycol-like Polymer Films, J. Photopolymer Sci. Technol. 14 (2001).
  • S. Manolache, E. B. Somers, A. C. L. Wong, V. Shamamian and F. Denes, Dense Medium Plasma Environments: A New Approach for the Disinfection of Water, Environmental Science and Technology 18, 3780-3785 (2001).
  • R. Ganapathy, S. Manolache, M. Sarmadi, and F. Denes, Immobilization of Papain on Cold-Plasma-Functionalized Polyethylene and Glass Surfaces, J. Biomater. Sci. Polymer Edn 12(9), 1027-1049 (2001).
  • S. Alvarez-Blanco, S. Manolache, and F. Denes, A Novel Plasma-enhanced Way for Surface-Functionalization of Polymeric Substrates, Polymer Bulletin 47, 329-336 (2001).
  • Y. J. Wu, A. J. Griggs, J. Jen, S. Manolache, F. Denes and R. B. Timmons, Pulsed Plasma Polymerization of Cyclic Ethers: Production of Biologically Non-Fouling Surfaces, Plasmas and Polymers 6(3), 123-144 (2001).
  • H. T. Sahin, S. Manolache, R. A. Young and F. Denes, Surface Fluorination of Paper under CF4 - RF Plasma Environments, Cellulose 9(2), 171-181 (2002).
  • L. G. Paterno, S. Manolache, and F. Denes, Synthesis of Polyaniline-type Thin Layer Structures Under Low-Pressure RF-Plasma Conditions, Synthetic Metals 130(1), 85-97 (2002).
  • A. R. Martin, S. Manolache, F. S. Denes, L. H. C. Mattoso, Functionalization of sisal fibers and high-density polyethylene by cold plasma treatment, Journal of Applied Polymer Science 85(10), 2145-2154 (2002).
  • G. Toriz, F. Denes and R. A. Young, Lignin-Polypropylene Composites. Part 1: Composites from Unmodified Lignin and Polypropylene, Polymer Composites 23(5), 806-813 (2002).
  • L. E. Cruz-Barba, S. Manolache, and F. Denes, Novel Plasma Approach for the Synthesis of Highly Fluorinated Thin Surface Layers, Langmuir 18, 9393-9400 (2002).
  • S. Alvarez-Blanco, S. Manolache, and F. Denes, Synthesis of Polyaniline Using Horseradish Peroxidase Immobilized on Plasma-Functionalized Polyethylene Surfaces as Initiator, Journal of Applied Polymer Science 88(2), 369-379 (2003).
    F. S. Denes, S. Manolache, Y. Ma, V. Shamamian, B. Ravel, and S. Prokes, Dense Medium Plasma Synthesis of Carbon/Iron-based Magnetic Nanoparticle Systems, J. Appl. Phys. 94(5), 3498-3508 (2003).
  • L. E. Cruz-Barba, S. Manolache and F. Denes, Generation of Teflon-like layers on cellophane surfaces under atmospheric pressure non-equilibrium SF6-plasma environments, Polymer Bulletin 50, 381-387 (2003).
  • S. Manolache, V. Shamamian and F. Denes, DMP Plasma-Enhanced Decontamination of Water of Aromatic Compounds, Journal of Environmental Engineering (submitted September 20, 2001; accepted 2002 - EE/2001/022956).
Papers That Have Been Submitted to Referred Journals
  • H. Jiang, S. Manolache, A.C.L. Wong and F. Denes, Plasma-enhanced Deposition of Silver Nanoparticles onto Polymer and Metal Surfaces for the Generation of Antimicrobial Characteristics, Journal of Applied Polymer Science (submitted January 15, 2003).
  • Y. Wang, S. Manolache, A. C. L. Wong, and F. S. Denes, Cold Plasma Synthesis of Poly(ethylene glycol)-like Layers on Stainless Steel Surfaces to Reduce Attachment and Biofilm Formation by Listeria Monocytogenes, Journal of Food Science (accepted October 6, 2003).
  • L. E. Cruz-Barba, S. Manolache, K. Sridharan and F. S. Denes, Novel Approach for the Synthesis of Hard-carbon Layers using Non-equilibrium Plasmas, Langmuir (submitted September 2003).
  • F. Denes and S. Manolache, Macromolecular Plasma-Chemistry an Emerging Field of Polymer Science, Progress in Polymer Science (to be submitted).
  • S. Manolache, M. Kuzuya, and F. Denes, Fluorination of C60 Fullerene under RF-Fluorine-Plasma Environments, Polymer Bulletin (to be submitted).
  • F. S. Denes and S. Manolache, Atmospheric-pressure Plasma in Gas/Vapor Bubbles Dispersed in Dielectric Liquid Media, (to be submitted).
Patent and Patent Disclosures Issued
  • Methods for Reactions in Dense-Medium Plasmas and Products Formed Thereby - Plasma Polymerization. F. Denes, R. A. Young, and Z. Q. Hua. 06/01/1999, US 5908539.
  • Polymeric Thin Layer Materials - Uniform, Clear, Durable Films with Thermal Stability, Chemical Inertness and Transparency. F. Denes, A. M. Sarmadi, J. L. Shohet and R. A. Young. 02/18/1997, US 5604038.
  • Fiber-Reinforced Cementitious Composites. F. Denes, R. A. Young, D. Feldman, Z. Q. Hua, and Z. Zheng. 01/06/1998, US 5705233.
  • Outside-Chamber Sealing-Roller-System for Surface Treatment Gas Reactors. F. Denes, and R. J. Sandberg. 04/25/2000, US 6054018.
  • Sealing-Roller-System for Surface Treatment Gas Reactors. F. Denes, R. J. Sandberg (E) and A.M. Sarmadi. 07/04/2000, US 6082292.
  • Plasma-Aided Treatment of Surfaces Against Bacterial Atachment and Biofilm Deposition. A. Denes, F. Denes, E. Sommers and A. Wong. 08/01/2000, US 6096564.
  • Process for the Intercalation of Spacer Molecules Between Substrates and Active Biomolecules, F. Denes, S. Manolache, M. Sarmadi, R. A. Young, R. Ganapathy and A. J. Martinez-Gomez, 06/11/2002, US 6402899.
Books or Conference Proceedings Edited: Invited Papers in Conference Proceedings and Invited Chapters in Books
  • J. Rowell, S. Manolache, L. H. C. Mattoso, M. Sarfaty, R.A.Young, and F. Denes, Advanced Materials from SiCl2H2-RF-Plasma Functionalized Thermoplastic and Lignocellulosis Substrates. (I) Sisal-Polypropylene-Based Composites, Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Natural Polymers and Composites ISNaPol98, May 10-13, p. 45, Atibaia-SP, Brazil (1998).
  • H. Seliger, M. Hinz, P. Jaisankar, F. Eisenbeib, S. Manolache, F. Denes, S. Gura, B. Nitzan, and S. Margel, Polymer-Supported Nucleic Acids for Applications in Biomedicine, Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Natural Polymers and Composites ISNaPol98, May 10-13, p. 45, Atibaia-SP, Brazil (1998).
  • F. Denes and R. A. Young, Surface Modification of Polysaccharides under Cold Plasma Conditions, in: Severian Dumitriu (Ed.), Structural Diversity and Functional Versatility of Polysaccharides, Marcel Dekker Inc., New York, Basel, Hong Kong (1998).
  • G. Toriz, F. Denes and R. A. Young, Plasma Modification of Lignin, in: Wolfgang G. Glasser, Robert A. Northey and Tor P. Schultz (Eds.), Lignin: Historical, Biological, and Materials Perspectives, ACS Symposium Series 742, Washington DC, p. 367-389 (2000).
  • F. Denes and S. Manolache, Immobilization of Active Biopolymers from Cold-Plasma-Functionalized Surfaces for the Creation of Molecular-Recognition and Molecular Manufacturing Systems (Chapter 12), in: S. Dumitriu (Ed), Polymeric Biomaterials: Second Edition, Revised and Expanded, Marcel Dekker Inc., New York, p. 239-290 (2002).
  • F. Denes, S. Manolache, and L. E. Cruz-Barba, Low-pressure Versus Atmospheric-pressure Non-equilibrium Plasma-enhanced Surface Modification of Cellulosic Substrates, 6th Pacific Rim Bio-based Composites Symposium, November 10-13, p. 517-527, Portland OR (2002).

Expertise Summary

Research Directions of the Candidate’s Group

  • General Plasma Chemistry
  • Synthesis of nano-particle- and hybrid nano-particle systems under Dense Medium Plasma (DMP) conditions
  • Fundamental studies of DMP plasma-induced reaction mechanisms (Decontamination of potable, bilge and gray water -Navy-ship applications
  • Atmospheric pressure, non-equilibrium plasma modification of Otto and Diesel gasoline composition
  • Investigation of low- and atmospheric pressures-induced reaction mechanisms; simulation of molecular fragmentation and recombination
  • Plasma-enhanced conversion of thin layer, liquid-phase high molecular weight polymers into 3D solid-state networks
  • Research Directly Related to Food Safety Issues
  • Plasma-enhanced deposition of antifouling macromolecular layers and colloidal Silver Particles on material surfaces usually involved in food processing technologies
  • Plasma-mediated generation of surfaces that kill bacteria on contact
  • Array Electrode Reactor Plasma Disinfection of surfaces that are in Contact with Ready to Eat Meat Products
  • Disinfection and Decontamination of Water Using Dense Medium Plasma Technologies
  • Immobilization of active biomolecules (e.g. enzymes) on plasma-functionalized organic and inorganic substrate surfaces for the design and development of biosensors with applications in food processing industries
  • Design and development of novel atmospheric pressure plasma installations for an efficient disinfection and decontamination of material surfaces, water and air (AER, Flat, Bubble, Capillary plasma reactors)
  • Synthesis of electrically conductive organic polymeric thin layers for the development of electric signals-based transducers for biosensor applications
  • Synthesis of Teflon-like surfaces on various polymer surfaces with potential application in Food-packaging Technologies
  • Deposition of Hard-carbon (Diamond-like) Thin Layers Under Low- and Atmospheric-pressure Non-equilibrium Plasma Environments
  • Synthesis of Sole and Hybrid Nanoparticle Systems, Including Magnetic Nanoparticle Systems, Using DMP Technologies with Applications in Catalysis and Localized Targeted Drug-delivery techniques