Applications of Atmospheric Plasmas

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Title: Applications of Atmospheric Plasmas
Author: Oldham, Christopher John
Advisors: Mohamed A. Bourham, Committee Member
Jerome J. Cuomo, Committee Chair
J. Michael Rigsbee, Committee Member
Mark A.L. Johnson, Committee Member
Abstract: Surface modification techniques using plasmas have generally been completed in a low pressure environment due to Pd (pressure x gap distance) considerations influencing the behavior of plasma generation. Generally, plasmas produced in a low pressure environment are of a non-thermal or cold nature. The basic feature of non-thermal plasmas is the majority of electrical energy used to generate the plasma is primarily used to produce energetic electrons for generating chemical species. Low pressure plasmas serve many purposes for materials processing. Since the plasma environment is contained within a closed vessel, the plasma can be controlled very easily. Low pressure plasmas have been used in many industries but the complexity associated with the large pumping stations and limitation to batch processing has motivated new work in the area of atmospheric plasmas. Atmospheric plasmas offer both economic and technical justification for use over low pressure plasmas. Since atmospheric plasmas can be operated at ambient conditions, lower costs associated with continuous processing and a decrease in the complexity of equipment validate atmospheric plasma processing as a next generation plasma-aided manufacturing processes. In an effort to advance acceptance of atmospheric plasma processing into industry, a process was developed, the dielectric barrier discharge (DBD), in order to generate a homogeneous and non-thermal plasma discharge at ambient conditions. The discharge was applied to the reduction of known food borne pathogens, deposition of thin film materials, and modification of lignocellulosic biomass.
Date: 2009-11-08
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Materials Science and Engineering

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