Plasma and Pulsed Power Research Group
With excellent technical facilities and internationally recognised scientific expertise, the group develops novel plasma sources, ultrashort and highly repetitive pulsed electric fields and state-of-the-art pulsed power systems for novel solutions to current challenges in the fields of engineering, aerospace, defence, biomedicine, environmental science and food industry.
From high power broadband ultrasound sources to new environmentally friendly synthetic approaches and decontamination techniques, the Plasma and Pulsed Power Group (P3G) continues to provide UK governmental institutions and leading global industries with novel and unconventional ways to solve current pressing challenges. Along the last decades, the group has also provided novel solutions to the multiple challenges faced by the defense industry and facilitated the transfer of pulsed power technology from the military to the civilian domain.
The group has a typical research income of £0.5 million per year and maintains a wide range of modern equipment that include high energy capacitor banks with triggerable switches, MV TESLA transformers, DC-RF-microwave plasma sources, as well as an extremely well represented and broad range of diagnostic tools that include, but is not limited to: ultrahigh speed cameras, UV/visible/IR spectrometers, high power lasers, voltage (mV to MV) and current (mA to MA) sensors, magnetic and electric field differential probes, Kerr effect systems, pressure sensors and high performance digital oscilloscopes (from 300 MHz to 18 GHz).
The Group publishes its research findings in top peer-reviewed international journals and regularly gives invited/plenary talks at top international conferences. As an active member of the research community, the Group also organises national and international conferences and participate in a number of international committees.
The Group has a well-established cooperation network with research centres all around the world including: Pau University (France), Eindhoven Technical University (The Netherlands), Texas Tech University (USA), The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Los Alamos National Laboratory (USA), Xi’an Jiaotong University (China), Pohang University of Science and Technology (Korea), INP Greifswald (Germany), Center for Physical Sciences and Technology (Lithuania), Lisbon Engineering Superior Institute (Portugal), etc
Our Research Projects
- Generation of ultrasound in water: using high-voltage high-repetition rate pulsed power technology, ultrasound is generated underwater by a plasma discharge; the physics of the discharge is investigated using modern diagnostic techniques including ultrahigh speed imaging and high bandwidth hydrophones.
- Generation of picosecond intense pulsed electric fields (PEF) in water: the system uses complex pulsed power technology to compress a voltage impulse from a few microseconds down to hundreds of picoseconds for PEF applications in biomedicine.
- Electromagnetic acceleration and implosion: using a fast-high-energy capacitor bank, metals are accelerated for cold welding two otherwise non-weldable pair of materials (such as copper-aluminium) or for magneto-forming metallic structures
Our Research Opportunities
Our PhD students play a central role in our wide-ranging research activities, making vital contributions to the success of the research itself. Find out more about our current research opportunities.