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  Laboratory for cold plasma laser spectroscopy, Institute of Physics, Zagreb  

Research objectives:

Cold plasmas are of interest both in fundamental research and for various technological applications. They are reach of radicals which gives contribution to their chemical activity and makes them as valuable sources of new molecular species and nano-particles and effective for surface treatment of various materials. To fully understand and control occurring plasma processes there is a need to characterize the plasma content.
We study various types of cold plasmas:  induced by lasers through the process of Laser Ablation (LA), by making the Radio-Frequency Inductively Coupled (RF-IC) electrode less discharge or producing atmospheric plasma jets with one electrode. We focus our research towards study of atomic collisions within plasmas, and role of radicals formed in oxygen, and hydrogen RF-plasmas in various applications. Simultaneous use of complementary laser techniques such as Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy, Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy and Laser Ablation Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry should provide advances in Plasma characterization. By combination of laser induced plasma formation (LA) within RF IC plasma we expect that new optimized sources of molecules could be developed as well as new treatments of bio and nano-structured materials.

Research methodology:

We use two main methods for preparation of plasmas laser induced plasma (laser ablation) and low temperature non-thermal radio frequency inductively coupled plasma. Both methods have several applications in technological processes which enables close connection of fundamental and applied research. These two plasmas belong to cold plasmas for which electron temperature is below 1 eV and electron density below 1015 cm-3, even though the laser plasma could be much more hot and dense within first tenths of nanoseconds upon laser pulse. These plasmas are very rich with various radicals and therefore represent chemically very active media. For detection of particles and spectroscopical characterization of plasmas we use several techniques such as time-resolved optical emission and absorption spectroscopy, time-of-flight mass spectrometry and other laser spectroscopies.

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