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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Science and Engineering
Department of Mechanical Engineering

PI: Steven L. Girshick, Fellow

Plasmas and Nanoparticles

These researchers are developing computational models of gas plasmas containing nanoparticles. They are mainly interested in the types of plasmas used for industrial applications, such as semiconductor processing and materials synthesis. Their primary focus is on the development of numerical models to simulate the spatiotemporal evolution of such plasmas, including the nucleation, growth, charging and transport of nanoparticles, and the effect of the nanoparticle aerosol on the plasma behavior. In the near term, they expect to focus on topics that include: the relationship between the nanoparticle phase and nonequilibrium electron kinetics of the plasma; the chemistry of particle nucleation and growth; and the effect that trapping of positive ions near negatively-charged nanoparticles has on ion drag, an important nanoparticle transport effect. In addition, they are developing numerical models that correspond to several experimental systems in their laboratory that involve synthesis of nanoparticles by plasmas and other gas-phase environments. For example, the researchers are presently developing a numerical model of growth of thin silica shells on nanoparticles, in a process known as "photo-CVD,” in which vacuum ultraviolet radiation activates a coating precursor.

Group Members

Pulkit Agarwal, Graduate Student
Aaron Beaber, Graduate Student
Adam Boies, Graduate Student
Ricky Jain, Graduate Student
Lejun Qi, Graduate Student
Weon-Gyu Shin, Research Associate