Suspension plasma spraying (SPS) offers the manufacture of unique microstructures which are not possible with conventional powder feedstocks. Due to the considerably smaller size of the droplets and also the further fragmentation of these in the plasma jet, the attainable microstructural features like splat and pore sizes can be downsized to the nanometer range. Our present understanding of the SPS deposition process including injection, suspension plasma plume interaction, and deposition is outlined in this report. The conclusions drawn are based on microstructure analysis in combination with enthalpy probe and particle temperature and velocity and measurements. Measurements with a water-cooled stagnation probe provide valuable information on the interaction of the carrier fluid with the plasma plume. The examples presented include segmented thermal barrier coatings for turbine components, LSM cathode deposits for SOFCs, and TiO2 layers for photovoltaic Gratzel cells.

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