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Pheno­me­non Plas­ma – Na­tu­re and Be­ne­fit

The ma­te­ri­al world sur­rounds us ge­ne­ral­ly in three clas­si­cal sta­tes of mat­ter: so­lid, li­quid and ga­seous. In ad­di­ti­on, the­re are other sta­tes of ag­gre­ga­ti­on. The term plas­ma is used to de­scri­be a ga­seous sta­te in which free elec­trons and io­ni­zed atoms exist. This term was coi­ned by Ir­ving Lang­muir, win­ner of No­bel Pri­ze for Che­mis­try of 1932, in 1928. Mat­ter has ad­di­tio­nal phy­si­cal pro­per­ties in this ag­gre­ga­te sta­te, which can be used in prac­tice.


Even if one knows most­ly the sun, light­nings or re­cent­ly plas­ma te­le­vi­si­ons as being pro­mi­nent ex­am­ples of plas­ma, the dis­tri­bu­ti­on and ap­p­li­ca­ti­on of plas­mas is much wi­der. Each of us tou­ches or co­mes in­to con­tact with tech­no­lo­gies, which we­re enab­led by plas­ma, every day. Light­ing and lar­ge-sca­le dis­plays, pro­ducts from mi­cro­elec­tro­nics, mir­ror coa­tings and scratch-re­sis­tant lay­ers, wel­ding and electri­cal switch­ge­ars, so­lar cells, dis­in­fec­tion of packing and me­di­cal de­vices as well as bio­com­pa­ti­ble hu­man im­plants eit­her use di­rect­ly low tem­pe­ra­tu­re plas­mas or are ma­nu­fac­tu­red with them. In ma­ny ca­ses they would not exist wi­thout plas­mas. 

Low tem­pe­ra­tu­re plas­ma is cost-ef­fec­tive and ea­sy to hand­le. Thus, it has gre­at po­ten­ti­al to cap­tu­re fur­ther are­as li­ke e.g. in the me­di­ci­ne, si­mi­lar to the la­ser on­ce. INP has a de­ter­mi­ning in­flu­ence on the pace of this de­ve­lop­ment. The cur­rent fo­cus of its re­se­arch ac­tivi­ties is on Plas­mas for Ma­te­ri­als and En­er­gy as well as En­vi­ron­ment and Health.

A catalogue of devices known as plasma sources, which generate low-temperature plasmas for a wide range of technological applications, is being developed as part of the INPTDAT data and information platform. 




Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology
Felix-Hausdorff-Str. 2
17489 Greifswald

Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Weltmann
Chairman of the Board and Scientific Director,
Division Manager of Environment and Bioeconomy

Phone: +49 3834 - 554 314
Fax: +49 3834 - 554 301