New atmospheric plasma devices offer exciting new opportunities in plasma medicine, biocompatible medical coatings, nanotechnology and biosensors, specialised lighting sources. These miniature devices however can be considered by electronic engineers as non-linear electrical devices. They operate a high frequency for maximum efficiency but this provides a challenge for control. Pushing the operating frequency up to 100MHz (or up to microwave), based on hollow cathode, coaxial transmission line resonators or microstrip could bring enhanced prospects for new devices and applications. In order to control power delivery (10W to 100W), new amplifier designs & IC technology, test instrumentation, feedback control and digital algorithms for diagnostics all offer possible research topics. This project is suited to an electronic engineer interested in the challenge of pushing existing high frequency RF towards the control of higher power electrical devices.
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The project details below are as provided as the initial outline. You will have the opportunity to discuss the exact project details with me and together we will develop a research programme to suit your expertise and preferences.
Qualifications; First degree in any of the following: Electronic Engineering, Physics, Physical Sciences, or similar subject area.
First Supervisor: Maguire, PD Prof
Second Supervisor: Mariotti, D Dr
Collaboration: This project does not involve collaboration with another establishment
Microplasmas are simple electrical devices, made up of a very fine tube connected to a pulse or RF voltage. During operation very large amounts of electrical energy are transferred into a very small volume of gas (picolitres) which then emits light and also, possible, reactive chemical species. This make it very useful for many applications such as detecting breath gases, killing bacteria for wound healing, destroying diesel pollutants, detecting water toxins, making nanoparticles, nanotubes and other exotic materials etc. Most microplasmas are driven with pulsed DC or RF frequencies less than 20MHz but inceasing the frequency offers many advantages - or so we suspect but nobody has tried this in detail. This requires integration of our microplasma with high frequency amplifiers and associated electronic components and controlling the output.