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Plasma Physics at ORU

Three laboratories for experimental plasma physics, optical characterization, and surface characterization provide opportunities for students in the Computing and Mathematics department, or any department of the College of Science and Engineering, to engage in extracurricular activities which focus on experimental research of plasma and its applications.

It is essential to initiate research for students early in their educational careers in order to develop key skills in vacuum practices, operation of high voltage and high current power supplies, control/acquisition of data, statistical analysis, electronics and more. Each student will participate in the planning, design, and construction of new experiments. These experiments are very different than “plug and play experiences,” where most of the work is already done and it is only necessary to follow instructions. In our labs, students will develop critical thinking skills by experimentation, practice, analysis, design, and construction. Each student meets weekly with Dr. Valderrama to discuss results and to plan each week's activity.

Currently, three main concepts are under development in the plasma physics laboratory:

1.    Glow Discharge Setup and Characterization by Optical Spectroscopy and Langmuir probes [1-3].

2.    Design, Contruction and Testing of Physical Vapor Deposition to produce metallic thin films and nanoparticles [4,5].

3.    Image classification by Machine Learning Algorithms for the characterization and measurement of the micro-topology of the coatings.

 

Broader Impact: 

1.    The dynamics of a vacuum arc producing metallic single crystal of niobium films have been previously studied experimentally by Valderrama [5-13], producing the highest RRR reported for these thin films. Improved understanding of this complex problem will not only benefit the superconducting field but also all applications where a dense protective low defect coating is required. 

2.    Development and tuning of Machine Learning algorithms for the analysis of micro-nano features, allow students who do not have experimental skills, to be able to be part of the research of the complex field of plasma physics. 

 

 

References: 

1.     Bhuyan, H., Valderrama, E., Favre, M., Chuaqui, H., Mitchell, I., and Wyndham, E. (2006). Plasma properties of a DC hollow cathode discharge. AIP Conference Proceedings, 875(1), 401–404. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2405974

2.     Valderrama, E., Favre, M., Bhuyan, H., Ruiz, H. M., Wyndham, E., Valenzuela, J., and Chuaqui, H. (2010). ScienceDirect - Surface and Coatings Technology : Sub-micron size carbon structures synthesized using plasma enhanced CVD, without external heating and no catalyzer action. Surface & Coatings Technology, 204(18–19), 2940–2943. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surfcoat.2010.02.023

3.     Guzmán, F., Ruiz, M., Valderrama, E., Favre, M., Bhuyan, H., Wynham, E. S., and Chuaqui, H. (2014). Spectroscopic Characterization Of RF Hydrocarbon Plasmas For DLC Coatings. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 511, 012017. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/511/1/012017

4.     Jessica Scremin, Isabella V. Joviano dos Santos, Jack P. Hughes, Alejandro García-Miranda Ferrari, Enrique Valderrama, Wei Zheng, Xizhou Zhong, Xin Zhao, Robert D. Crapnell, Samuel J Rowley-Neale and Craig E. Banks. “Platinum nanoparticle decorated vertically aligned graphene screen-printed electrodes: electrochemical characterization and exploration towards the hydrogen evolution reaction”. Nanoscale, 2020,12, 18214-18224 (Impact factor: 7.790). April 22 of 2020. https://doi.org/10.1039/D0NR04336B

5.     Valderrama, E. F., James, C., Krishnan, M., Zhao, X., Phillips, L., Reece, C., & Seo, K. (2012). High-RRR thin-films of NB produced using energetic condensation from a coaxial, rotating vacuum ARC plasma (CEDTM) (pp. 953–960). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4707012 

6.     Krishnan, M., Valderrama, E., Bures, B., Wilson-Elliott, K., Zhao, X., Phillips, L., … Seo, K. (2011). Very high residual resistivity ratios of heteroepitaxial superconducting niobium films on MgO substrates. Superconductor Science and Technology, 24(11), 115002. https://doi.org/10.1088/0953-2048/24/11/115002

7.     Krishnan, M., Valderrama, E., James, C., Zhao, X., Spradlin, J., Feliciano, A.-M. V., … Sung, Z. H. (2012). Energetic condensation growth of Nb thin films. Physical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams, 15(3), 032001. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTAB.15.032001

8.     Zhao, X., Phillips, L., Reece, C. E., Seo, K., Krishnan, M., & Valderrama, E. (2011). Twin symmetry texture of energetically condensed niobium thin films on sapphire substrate (a-plane Al2O3). Journal of Applied Physics, 110(3), 033523. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3611406

9.     Zhao, X., Philips, L., Reece, C. E., Seo, K., Krishnan, M., and Valderrama, E. (2012). Response to “Comment on ‘Twin symmetry texture of energetically condensed niobium thin films on sapphire substrate” [J. Appl. Phys. 112, 016101 (2012)]. Journal of Applied Physics, 112(1), 016102. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4729523

10.  Valderrama E., James C., Krishnan M., Zhao X., Seo K., Stevie F. A. and Maheshwari P., “Nb film growth on crystalline and amorphous substrates”. Conference: 15th International Conference on RF Superconductivity, SRF-11, THPO069. July 25-29, 2011. Chicago, USA. 

11.  Valderrama E., James C., Krishnan M., Zhao X., Seo K., Stevie F. A. and Maheshwari P., “Mo-Re films for SRF applications”. Conference: 15th International Conference on RF Superconductivity, SRF-11, THPO077. July 25-29, 2011. Chicago, USA. 

12.  Krishnan M., Valderrama E., James C., Zhao X., Spradlin J., Valente Feliciano A-M, Phillips L., Reece C., Sung Z.H., Stevie F.A., Maheshwari P., Batchelor D., “Energetic Condensation of Nb thin films”. Conference: 15th International Conference on RF Superconductivity, SRF-11, TUIOB01. July 25-29, 2011. Chicago, USA.

13.  Seo K., Krishnan M., Valderrama E., Zhao X., Valente-Feliciano A-M., Spradlin J., Phillips L., Reece C., “Crystallographic Orientation of Epitaxial Transition Observed for Nb (bcc) on MgO and Cu (fcc) Single-crystals”. Conference: 15th International Conference on RF Superconductivity, SRF-11, THPO042. July 25-29, 2011. Chicago, USA.

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