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The faculty, staff and students of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University are engaged in a wide variety of research investigating the fundamentals and applications of plasmas on topics ranging from space plasmas to micro-plasmas. We invite you to contact MIPSE members if you want additional information on their research.

Featured Project: First shot on BLUE!

First shot on BLUE

BLUE is the new 800-kV, 200-kA linear transformer driver (LTD) facility being constructed in the Plasma, Pulsed Power, and Microwave Laboratory at the University of Michigan. The construction of BLUE is being led by PhD student Brendan Sporer. The PI for BLUE is Associate Professor Ryan McBride. The four LTD cavities for BLUE were donated from the 21-cavity Ursa Minor facility at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM – hence the name “BLUE” (Bestowed LTD from the Ursa-minor Experiment). In this image, the bright flash of light comes from plasma generated inside the ten, high-power spark-gap switches around the perimeter of the machine. The blue glow near the bottom of the image is due to this flash of light being transmitted through a dielectric high-voltage cable feedthrough. The first shot on BLUE was taken by Brendan Sporer on November 21, 2019. This cavity is the first of four cavities that will be stacked together to increase the facility’s open-circuit voltage from 200 kV (single cavity) to 800 kV (four cavities). BLUE will be used to drive high-power microwave sources as well as fast z-pinch plasmas for experiments in nuclear fusion and x-ray generation.

Research Areas

Low Temperature Plasmas

Accelerators and Beams

Plasma Propulsion

Materials Processing (Plasmas, Laser)

High Speed Flows

High Energy Density Plasmas

Environmental and Energy Applications



High Power Microwaves

Biological and Biomedical Applications

Modeling and Simulation Methods

Radiation Transport

Nanotechnology, Microelectronics, MEMS

Electromagnetics and Wave Plasma Interactions

Space and Astrophysical Plasmas

Fundamental Plasma Transport

Laser-Plasma Interactions