Plasma is the fourth state of matter, besides gas, liquid and solid state. A plasma is a (partially or fully) ionized gas. It consists of neutral atoms or molecules, ions, electrons, excited species, photons and radicals. More than 99% of the visible universe is in plasma-state (e.g., the sun, stars, nebulae, solar corona,...). Beside these natural plasmas, plasmas can also be created by humans, i.e., for fusion research and for many technological applications.
In this optional course, the student is made familiar with plasma in all its aspects (natural astro-plasmas, fusion plasmas, gas discharges). Also the many applications of plasmas (e.g., materials technology, micro-electronics, lamps, lasers, plasma-TVs, analytical chemistry, environmental and biotechnological applications,...) are explained.
The special physics and chemistry of plasmas (with special emphasis to gas discharges) will be treated, i.e., how is a plasma created in the various forms of gas discharges, electrical properties of plasmas, kind of species in the plasma and their collision processes, transport of species in the plasma, chemical reactions in the plasma,... Also the way in which the physics and chemistry can be described by means of numerical modeling and experiments will be discussed.
Finally, the students will have to write a paper about an application of plasma technology, based on scientific papers in the literature.
This course contributes to realizing the following general aims of the Bachelor education Chemistry: B1, B6, B8.