What do we do?
The Kortshagen Group explores the applications of plasma in various fields vital to our community. These include nanomaterial synthesis, renewable and clean energy, semiconductor device fabrication, and more. The group investigates these applications using an interdisciplinary approach involving plasma physics, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, material science, and reactive chemistry.
"There is plenty of room at the bottom" -Richard Feynman on Nanotechnology
Why use plasma?
Though not so common on Earth, 99% of the universe is plasma. Plasmas are partially or fully ionized gases i.e., collection of charged particles (ions and electrons) and neutrals. Due to the presence of ions, free radicals, and excited gas molecules, the plasma acts as a highly reactive environment. This reactive environment can be produced and controlled by applying an electromagnetic field. We, the Kortshagen Group, exploit these unique properties of plasma to enable various chemical processes which are difficult thermally.
"Plasma seems to have the kinds of properties one would like for life. It’s somewhat like liquid water—unpredictable and thus able to behave in an enormously complex fashion. It could probably carry as much information as DNA does. It has at least the potential for organizing itself in interesting ways" -Freeman Dyson on Plasma