ILTPC Newsletter 09
17 December 2020
Table of Contents
- Call for contributions
- Invited LTP perspectives
- Tribute to Prof. Vladimir Fortov
- General interest announcements
- Meetings and online seminars
- Community initiatives and special issues
- Research highlights and breakthroughs
- New resources
- Career opportunities
- Collaborative opportunities
Call for Contributions
Please submit content for the next issue of the Newsletter. Please send your contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15, 2020. Please send contributions as MS-Word files if possible – and avoid sending contributions as PDF files.
In particular, please send Research Highlights and Breakthroughs using this template. The highlight consists of an image and up to 200 words of text. The topic can be anything you want - a recently published work, a new unpublished result, a proposed new area of research, company successes, anything LTP-related. Please see the Research highlights and breakthroughs for examples.
Images to Excite and Inspire!
Thank you for submitting your images, some of which are shown here. Those images already submitted will appear in later Newsletters. Please do send your images (with a short description or source) to email@example.com. The recommended image format is JPG or PNG; the minimum file width is 800 px.
(Click the image to enlarge.)
Invited LTP Perspectives: Policy, Opportunities, Challenges
Can Plasma Save 10 Billion People?
Every morning, when I flip through the newspaper, I read painful news such as the Corona infection, global warming, environmental deterioration, food problems, and a super-aging society (especially in Japan). The United Nations has set 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and many communities are working towards these goals.
One form of core technologies that is expected to contribute to achieving these goals is plasma technology, and it is the subject of active research and development worldwide for the perpetual development of humanity, but is it true? I believe that the answer is, of course, yes, although future directions may not be clear at present.
What we can say for certain is that for creating a society based on artificial intelligence, plasma etching technology is an extremely important tool. In addition, fusion power generation cannot be realized without the use of plasma. In order for plasma technology to continue to evolve, it is important to search for applications that can only be achieved using plasma (“killer plasma applications”). New applications in plasma medicine and agriculture are being actively researched, but there are many competing methods. In addition to approaches such as genome editing and iPS (induced pluripotent stem cell) medical care, it is necessary to investigate medical and agricultural applications that can only be achieved using plasma.
If such plasma-only applications are not actively developed, the full benefits of plasma-based technology to humanity will not be realized.
To that end, it will be necessary to expand the range of topics investigated by the plasma research community. There are many unexplored potential plasma applications not only on Earth but also in space, but it seems that we have not yet found a killer plasma application or investigated the science behind it.
To quote Dr. Leo Esaki, the Nobel Prize winner in Physics (semiconductors) in 1973: “Leave the path you always walk, dive into unexplored forests, and search for new things.” This is the approach we should be taking. In particular, young researchers have sufficient time to spend more than 30 years doing research.
Recently, while observing the interaction between plasma and liquid, I felt a sense of romance about the possibility of new applications of plasma in the oceans (ocean plasma), which occupies 70.8% of the earth's surface but have not yet been used for plasma applications.
So I would like to encourage everyone to take courageous steps forward to venture into the unexplored forest with a strong desire to benefit humanity.
Tribute to Prof. Vladimir Fortov
With deep sadness, we inform the scientific community that Academician Vladimir Fortov, an outstanding scientist and organizer of science passed away on 29 November 2020 due to the Covid-19 virus.
Vladimir Fortov was born on January 23, 1946 in the city of Noginsk, Moscow region. He received the PhD degree from the Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology (MIPT) in 1971 and his Doctor of Science Degree (the highest scientific degree in Russia) in 1977. In 1991 he was elected to be academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences. In 2013-2017 V. E. Fortov was the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He was also the Director and the scientific Adviser of the Joint Institute for High Temperatures of the Russian Academy of Sciences (JIHT RAS), and the head of the MIPT department.
Academician V. E. Fortov was a world-class scientist. His scientific research is of fundamental importance for the development of physics of extreme state of matter, plasma physics, space physics, and rocketry. He developed a general theory for constructing wide-range equations of state of matter, developed new methods for converting chemical energy into energy of electromagnetic radiation and electrical energy. He investigated the processes occurring under pulsed action of powerful energy on materials.
Vladimir Fortov carried out pioneering experimental studies of the structural and dynamic properties of plasma-dust crystals. The first experiments on crystalline plasmas in microgravity were carried out on board the Russian space station Mir (Plasma Crystal-1, Crystal-2 projects). Then, the Plasma Crystal-3 experiment was carried out on the International Space Station (jointly with Germany). He is the author of over 30 monographs and over 900 original and review scientific articles. Vladimir Fortov supervised more than 30 students to their Ph.D. degrees and over 10 doctoral theses.
In recognition of his contributions to science, he was awarded numerous prizes in Russia and abroad. In particular, he received international awards: Hannes Alfvén Prize (2003), UNESCO Albert Einstein medal (2005), Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2006), Legion of Honour (2006), and Global Energy Prize (2013).
V. E. Fortov was a fellow of a number of foreign academies and scientific societies: the European Academy of Sciences, the Royal Academy of Engineering of Great Britain, the Swedish Royal Academy of Engineering, the Max Planck Society, the German Academy of Sciences, the US National Academy of Engineering, the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Physical Society and many others. He was an honorary member of 11 universities in Russia and abroad.
Vladimir Fortov participated in the elimination of the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. He sank in a bathyscaphe to the bottom of Lake Baikal and took part in expeditions to the North and South Poles. Fortov was fond of mountain skiing, tennis and extreme travel. He crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a yacht, bypassed Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope.
Vladimir Evgenievich Fortov was always full of new ideas. The bright memory of Vladimir Evgenievich will forever remain in our hearts.
Prof. E. E. Son Academician, Russian Academy of Sciences Joint Institute for High Temperatures and MIPT
Dr. N. Yu. Babaeva Senior Research Scientist Joint Institute for High Temperatures, RAS, Russia
General Interest Announcements
APPLAuSE PhD Program in Plasma Science and Engineering at the Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear from Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa
Research Internships for Graduate Students at the US Air Force Research Laboratory
Fostering the growth of a globally competitive and diverse research workforce and advancing scientific and innovation skills is a strategic objective of the US National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF and US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) have entered into a partnership to support the training of gradu-ate students to meet both the NSF's strategic workforce development objectives as well as the AFRL's mis-sion to lead the discovery, development and delivery of new technologies for our air, space and cyberspace interests.
Interested NSF Principal Investigators are encouraged to consider this opportunity and should contact their cognizant program director at their earliest convenience.
Contact: Dr. Prakash Balan firstname.lastname@example.org
The ILTPC is maintaining a list of LTP conferences (view-only). With many meetings being canceled and rescheduled, we thought this would be useful for minimizing conflicts and planning future trips. The data may not be 100% accurate, so please let us know of changes in conference scheduling.
Contact: ILTPC email@example.com
Meetings and Online Seminars
Online LTP Seminar
The Online Low Temperature Plasma (OLTP) Seminar series schedule for January – June 2021 has been announced. The first seminar in the new series will be presented by Prof. Ali Mesbah (Deep Learning-based Controllers for LTPs) on January 26, 2021.
International Online Plasma Seminar (IOPS)
The International Online Plasma Seminar (IOPS) will soon announce its schedule of seminars for January – June 2021. The new seminar format will include:
- Research Highlight (20 minutes + questions): This presentation is intended to summarize a recent publication and is more highly focused on the topic of the publication.
- Tutorial/Review (30-45 minutes + questions): This presentation more broadly addresses a topic and is more like a traditional departmental seminar.
Speaker Nominations: Nominations are solicited for speakers for the July-December 2021 sessions of IOPS. Two types of seminars will be presented (please see above). Please submit nominations via Google form with a deadline of 31 May 2021.
7th International Workshop on Plasma for Cancer Treatment (IWPCT-2021)
It is our pleasure to announce the 7th International Workshop on Plasma for Cancer Treatment (IWPCT-2021) that will take place at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), in Barcelona on June 29-30, 2021 (switching to hybrid or virtual meeting depending on the future travel and sanitary restrictions).
The field is advancing at a huge pace, so in this challenging period, the intent of the Workshop is to bring together researchers in the field of Plasma Oncology and Plasma Medicine from all over the world, to discuss recent progress and contribute to the advance of plasmas in cancer.
There will be 8 invited talks - some already confirmed - 18 contributed oral presentations and 2 poster sessions over two days. Abstract submission is open until January 30, 2021. For more details, please visit our webpage.
The workshop will be preceded by a 1 day Mini-Course on Plasma & Cancer organized by Prof. Vandana Miller, Prof. Mounir Laroussi, and Prof. Annemie Bogaerts on June 28.
Contact: Prof. Cristina Canal and Prof. Cédric Labay Chairs of IWPCT2021 Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya firstname.lastname@example.org
MIPSE (Michigan Institute for Plasma Science and Engineering) Seminar Series
The MIPSE seminar series, usually held as an in-person event, will be totally virtual this Winter. There will be five seminars during Winter 2021 covering the full range of plasma topics (not only LTP). The seminars are held on Wednesdays at 3:30 pm (US East Coast Time). Please send a request for the Zoom link to view the seminars to email@example.com. Seminars will be recorded and posted (with slides) at the website.
- Winter 2021 schedule and abstracts
- Past MIPSE seminars (recordings and slides)
- Interviews of past seminar speakers
Contact: MIPSE Central firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Initiatives and Special Issues
Please submit your announcements for Community Initiatives and Special Issues to: email@example.com.
Research Highlights and Breakthroughs
HelixJet – an Unexpectedly Homogeneous and Stable Form of Plasma at Atmospheric Pressure
The well-thought-out geometry of double-helical electrodes made it possible to generate a homogeneous glow discharge in argon at atmospheric pressure in a larger volume. In view of the complicated three-dimensional structure of the electric field, the homogeneity of this discharge is surprising. Its stability is not disturbed even by small admixtures of other gases or the presence of microparticles. Such a plasma source is suitable for the effective treatment of nanomaterials and microparticles. The HelixJet was designed as a promising plasma source for plasma 3D printing. Other advantages of the source are the low consumption of working gas compared to usual plasma jets and also the low power consumption which allows the operation without active cooling.
Contact: Dr. Jan Schäfer Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology (INP) firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: J. Schäfer et al, Plasma Process Polym. 17, e1900099 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1002/ppap.201900099
Kinetic-Monte Carlo Simulations of Plasma Chemistry
The interest in nanosecond pulsed discharges has been rising quickly due to their strong non-equilibrium properties. The typical plasma-chemistry models based on the low-anisotropy and quasi-stationary approximations to the Electron Energy Distribution Function may fail to describe these discharges correctly, due to the high reduced electric fields (E/N) and very short timescales involved. These limitations can be avoided with a self-consistent and unified formulation based on Kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) techniques. A simultaneous KMC description of the electron and heavy-species kinetics would enable a rigorous inclusion of the time-dependent influence of different excited states in the electron kinetics and vice-versa, and would not be limited to a restricted range of E/N.
As a first step to achieve such unified formulation, a KMC algorithm to solve gas-phase chemistry was implemented and validated in the thermodynamic limit. However, the densities of the minority species have considerable fluctuations. Two novel variance-reduction methods (ERW and VSW) were developed to circumvent this problem. They significantly improve the description of the minority species in relation to the standard method, as illustrated in the figure for O2+ ions, with gains in computational time by a factor of about 104.
Contact: Tiago C. Dias Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear, U. Lisboa email@example.com
Source: Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. 29, 115003 (2020).
Cold Atmospheric Plasma Inactivation of Aerosolized Microdroplets Containing SARS-CoV-2 to Combat Airborne Indoor Transmission
Among the COVID-19 pandemic spreading routes, airborne transmission seems to have a key role as highlighted by the growing evidence that SARS-CoV-2 virus can survive indoor in aerosolized microdroplets up to 3 hours, travelling many meters. Cold atmospheric pressure plasmas (CAPs) represent a promising solution to combat airborne transmission, thanks to their ability to produce a blend of many reactive species, which have antimicrobial properties. Recently, our research team evaluated the efficacy of a lab-scale dielectric barrier discharge plasma device in the inactivation of aerosolized Staphylococcus epidermidis and purified RNA of SARS-CoV-2. Results (through bacterial log reduction and RT-PCR assay, respectively) show that direct contact between plasma and bioaerosol can induce a log R around 3.76 on bacteria and fully degrade viral RNA, with a particle residence time in the discharge zone of 0.18 seconds. In the frame of a Region Emilia-Romagna funded industrial research and innovation project to combat the spread of COVID-19, investigations on the effects of CAPs on bioaerosols containing viable SARS-CoV-2 virus have been conducted in the Class III biological safety lab of the Microbiology Unit, Great Romagna Hub Laboratory, Pievesestina, Italy. Results show a complete reduction of the virus infectivity induced by CAP treatment (results soon to be published).
Contact: Prof. Vittorio Colombo Department of Industrial Engineering, Alma Mater Studiorum-Università di Bologna firstname.lastname@example.org Prof. Vittorio Sambri Department of Medical and Surgical Studies, Alma Mater Studiorum-Università di Bologna email@example.com
Gas Plasma-spurred Wound Healing is Accompanied by Regulation of Focal Adhesion, Matrix Remodeling, and Tissue Oxygenation
We combined in vitro analyses in primary dermal fibroblasts isolated from murine skin with in vivo studies in a murine wound model. Our model highlights gas plasma treatment mechanisms as a critical modulator of cell adhesion during wound healing via several molecular elements.
Substantial gene expression changes accompanied gas plas-ma-driven migration and the spreading of skin cells together with dynamic regulation of integrin adhesions. These results were supported by finding i) phosphorylation of the focal ad-hesion kinase and paxillin, ii) alterations of structural pro-teins (e.g., vinculin) and actin organization, and iii) for-mation of new cell-matrix contacts. Gas plasma-derived ROS promote the physical integrity of healed skin, presuma-bly via modulation of collagen deposition, the extracellular matrix degradation, and a wound healing stage-dependent regulation of proteinases (e.g., MMPs). This was attended by an enhanced oxygenation and tissue-hemoglobin perfusion of the superficial skin layer. These findings shed further light on targeting distinct cell populations (e.g., dermal fibro-blasts) and novel therapeutic interventions using gas plasma technology to alleviate defective wound healing.
Contact: Dr. Anke Schmidt INP Greifswald firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Redox Biology 38: 101809 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2020.101809
On the Kinetics and Equilibria of Plasma-based Dry Reforming of Methane
We performed experiments for dry reforming of methane (DRM) in an extended residence time range (2–75 s) in a dielectric barrier discharge plasma, and fitted the gas composition to a first-order kinetic model of the evolution towards partial chemical equilibrium (PCE), to extract apparent kinetic parameters for the loss and formation processes of CO2 and CH4. We investigated the differences in kinetic characteristics and PCE state of the CO2 dissociation and CH4 reforming reactions, how these are mutually affected when combining both gases in DRM, and how they change upon adding a packing material. CO2 dissociation is characterized by a relatively high reaction rate coefficient of 0.120 s−1 compared to CH4 reforming at 0.041 s−1; whereas CH4 reforming reaches higher equilibrium conversions, 82% compared to 54% for CO2 dissociation. Combining both feed gases enables DRM to proceed at a relatively high rate coefficient (0.088 s−1), and high conversion (75%) compared to CO2 dissociation, through accessing new chemical pathways between the products of CO2 and CH4. This study reveals the delicate balance of the combined chemistry: CO2 drives the loss reactions in DRM, whereas CH4 appears to suppress back reactions.
Contact: Prof. Dr. Annemie Bogaerts University of Antwerp email@example.com
Source: Chem. Eng. J. 405 126630 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2020.126630.
The Molecular and Physiological Consequences of Gas Plasma Treatment in Murine Skin and Its Barrier Function
Gas plasma technology is an emerging tool facilitating the spatially controlled delivery of a multitude of reactive species (ROS) to the skin. While the therapeutic efficacy of plasma treatment has been observed in several types of diseases, the fundamental consequences of plasma-derived ROS on skin physiology remain unknown.
Transcriptomic analysis of plasma-treated skin revealed a modulation of genes involved in regulating the junctional network (tight, adherence, and gap junctions), which was confirmed using quantitative PCR, Western blot, and immunofluorescence imaging. Plasma treatment increased disaggregation of cells in the stratum corneum (SC) concomitant with increased tissue oxygenation, gap junctional inter-cellular communication, and penetration of the model drug curcumin into the SC. This was preceded by altered oxidation of skin lipids and their composition in vivo as shown by LC/MS. These findings suggest plasma technology to be an innovative tool to modulate the barrier function of the skin. This might be of relevance for future therapy of inflammatory skin diseases or the subcutaneous penetration of substances.
Contact: Dr. Anke Schmidt INP Greifswald firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Free Radic Biol Med. 161:32-49 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2020.09.026.
Please submit your notices for new resources (e.g., newly published special issues, new databases, new reviews) to email@example.com.
Plasma Scientist/Engineer, Lam Research, Tualatin, Oregon (USA)
Lam Research is seeking a plasma scientist/engineer to develop plasma metrology and diagnostics for plasma processing equipment used in the semiconductor fabrication industry. The candidate will be responsible for research and development of new technology and investigate the feasibility of applying scientific principles to industrial products for plasma fabrication of microelectronics devices.
- MS/PhD in Physics or Engineering (Chemical, Electrical, Mechanical, or related field)
- Extensive background in low temperature plasmas and related technology
- Hands-on experiences in research and development
- Excellent problem-solving and trouble-shooting skills
- Ability to work independently in a highly dynamic and fast-paced environment
- Ability to effectively communicate with colleagues in cross-functional team environment
Skills and knowledge:
- Expertise in optical/electrical plasma diagnostics (OES, LAS, LIF, Langmuir probe, Capacitive probe, RFEA, QMS, etc.)
- Proficiency in automated data collection and analysis with LabView, Matlab, etc.
- Experience in computational modeling will be a plus
Contact: Dr. Yuki Sakiyama Technical Director, Plasma Source Engineering, Deposition Product Group Lam Research Corporation 11361 SW Leveton Dr, Bldg. C, Tualatin, OR 97062 USA firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +1-503-885-6610
Please submit your notices for collaborative opportunities to email@example.com.
The content of this Newsletter comes from the contributions of members of the ILTPC. The Newsletter editors are attempting to provide as inclusive a communication as possible. However, inclusion of items in the Newsletter should not be interpreted as an endorsement by the editors nor as advertisement for commercial purposes. The content of this newsletter should also not be interpreted as an endorsement by our sponsors – the US National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, or the University of Michigan. The Newsletter editors may do some light editing of the original submissions, to maintain a consistent tone and style.