Low temperature plasma science and technology
Research in the Graves group focuses on the fundamentals and applications of weakly to partially ionized gases, or plasmas. These plasmas operate at relatively low gas temperatures – often around room temperature - and are therefore quite different from the hot, usually strongly magnetized plasmas in stars or that are used in thermonuclear fusion and weapons applications. The key problems in this field are related to the coupling of the chemically reactive neutral gas and electrons and ions that make up the plasma. This is especially true at surfaces exposed to the plasma. The group interests currently include plasma processes in thin solid film applications; in biomedical applications; in agriculture; and in food disinfection.