Plasma Engineering

1st Edition

Applications from Aerospace to Bio and Nanotechnology

Authors: Michael Keidar Isak Beilis
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123859778
eBook ISBN: 9780123859785
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 27th March 2013
Page Count: 424
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Plasma engineering applies the unique properties of plasmas (ionized gases) to improve processes and performance over many fields, such as materials processing, spacecraft propulsion, and nanofabrication. Plasma Engineering considers this rapidly expanding discipline from a unified standpoint, addressing fundamentals of physics and modeling as well as new real-word applications in aerospace, nanotechnology, and bioengineering.

The book starts by reviewing plasma particle collisions, waves, and instabilities, and proceeds to diagnostic tools, such as planar, spherical, and emissive probes, and the electrostatic analyzer, interferometric technique, and plasma spectroscopy. The physics of different types of electrical discharges are considered, including the classical Townsend mechanism of gas electrical breakdown and the Paschen law. Basic approaches and theoretical methodologies for plasma modeling are described, based on the fluid description of plasma solving numerically magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations and the kinetic model particle techniques that take into account kinetic interactions among particles and electromagnetic fields.

Readers are then introduced to the widest variety of applications in any text on the market. Space propulsion applications such as the Hall thruster, pulsed plasma thrusters, and microthruster are explained. Application of low-temperature plasmas in nanoscience and nanotechnology, another frontier in plasma physics, is covered, including plasma-based techniques for carbon-based nanoparticle synthesis (e.g., fundamental building blocks like single-walled carbon nanotubes and graphene). Plasma medicine, an emerging field studying plasmas for therapeutic applications, is examined as well. The latest original results on cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) applications in medicine are presented, with a focus on the therapeutic potential of CAP with a in selective tumor cell eradication and signaling pathway deregulatio

Key Features

  • The first textbook that addresses plasma engineering in the aerospace, nanotechnology, and bioengineering fields from a unified standpoint
  • Includes a large number of worked examples, end of chapter exercises, and historical perspectives
  • Accompanying plasma simulation software covering the Particle in Cell (PIC) approach, available at


Appropriate for grad level courses in Plasma Engineering/Plasma Physics in departments of Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Physics. Also useful as an introduction to plasma engineering and its applications for early career researchers and practicing engineers.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Plasma Concepts

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Plasma particle phenomena

1.3 Waves and instabilities in plasmas

1.4 Plasma–wall interactions

1.5 Surface phenomena: electron emission and vaporization

Homework problems


Chapter 2. Plasma Diagnostics

2.1 Langmuir probes

2.2 Orbital motion limit

2.3 Langmuir probes in collisional-dominated regime

2.4 Emissive probe

2.5 Probe in magnetic field

2.6 Ion energy measurements: electrostatic analyzer

2.7 HF cutoff plasma diagnostics

2.8 Interferometric technique

2.9 Optical measurements and fast imaging

2.10 Plasma spectroscopy

2.11 Microwave scattering

Homework problems


Chapter 3. Electrical Discharges

3.1 Electrical breakdown and Paschen law

3.2 Spark discharges and streamer phenomena

3.3 Glow discharge

3.4 Arc discharges

Homework problems


Chapter 4. Plasma Dynamics

4.1 Plasma in electric and magnetic field

4.2 Magnetic mirrors

4.3 Remarks on particle drift

4.4 The crossed E×B fields plasma dynamics in plasma devices

4.5 Diffusion and transport of plasmas

4.6 Simulation approaches

4.7 Particle-in-cell techniques

4.8 Fluid simulations of plasmas: free boundary expansion

Homework problems


Chapter 5. Plasma in Space Propulsion

5.1 Plasma in ablative plasma thrusters

5.2 Bulk plasma and near-wall phenomena in Hall thruster

5.3 Micropropulsion

5.4 Plasma plumes from thrusters

Homework problems


Chapter 6. Plasma Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

6.1 Plasmas for nanotechnology

6.2 Magnetically enhanced synthesis of nanostructures in plasmas



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About the Author

Michael Keidar

Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering The George Washington University Research Activities: Advanced spacecraft propulsion, plasma medicine, bioengineering, plasma-based nanotechnology. Teaching: thermodynamics, heat transfer, propulsion, plasma engineering Awards: 2009 Outstanding SEAS Young Researcher Award 2008 elected Associate Fellow, AIAA 2006 Research Faculty Recognition Award by University of Michigan Professional Memberships: The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), Senior Member American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Associate Fellow American Physical Society (APS), Member International Society of Plasma Medicine (ISPM), Founding Member Member of AIAA Electric Propulsion Technical Committee (EP) Founder and Director, Micropropulsion and Nanotechnology Laboratory (MpNL) Steering Committee, Plasma Nanoscience Symposium (iPlasmaNanoSym) Steering Committee, GW Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBE) Editorial Board: International Journal of Plasma Science and Engineering

Affiliations and Expertise

Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The George Washington University

Isak Beilis

Faculty of Engineering Tel Aviv University RESEARCH INTERESTS Physical phenomena in high current electrical discharges, at the electrode surface and in the near electrode plasma author of over 150 journal articles, 12 book chapters, and 2 patents

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, Faculty of Engineering, Tel Aviv University


"This is a very well written, accessible book on a usually very mathematically intensive subject…The text could be used for a graduate class in physics or material science…Professionals working in related plasma science fields would also find this book useful as an up-to-date source on the latest developments in plasma arc theory and related applications."--IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine, May/June 2014