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Plasma Gun: Red-Hot Research
June 3, 2015   
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A new plasma gun developed by Polish scientists that generates plasma with a temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius is paving the way to new applications of plasma in science and industry.

Plasma is one of the four fundamental states of matter, the others being solid, liquid, and gas. The new plasma gun, developed by physicists and engineers at Poland’s National Center for Nuclear Research (NCBJ) in 安ierk near Warsaw, is called the IBIS II and is a modernized version of an original design developed at 安ierk some time ago and protected by several patents.

The new plasma gun has been developed as part of the Development of Ionizing Radiation-Based Technologies at NCBJ 安ierk project. The device opens up new opportunities in research on high-temperature plasma and makes it possible to develop new technology for modifying the surfaces of solid materials for industrial applications.

Plasma generated by the IBIS II device has a very high temperature of around 100 million degrees Celsius. It is also marked by high turbulence, as a result of which some of the generated particles achieve very high energies.

“The fact that IBIS generates plasma in a high-vacuum environment rather than in relatively dense gaseous media is a fundamental advantage. The conditions we are able to generate resemble those in space plasma,” says CezaryPochrybniak, Ph.D., head of the Plasma/Ion Beam Technology Division at the NCBJ and manager of the project.

Interactions of plasma with the surfaces of materials in conditions far from thermodynamic equilibrium are another important field of research. Such interactions usually produce modifications of surface properties unattainable with traditional methods. The research being conducted at 安ierk seeks to find ways to improve the surfaces of metals and ceramics and ways to upgrade methods of gluing together materials with different internal structures. The research is also expected to contribute to finding ways to manufacture materials combining the properties of semiconductors and ferromagnetic materials in order to better store, process and transmit information.

“The NCBJ has been conducting plasma research and pursing plasma applications for many years. The new plasma gun is the outcome of our combined competences and opportunities created by European Union funding,” said Prof. GrzegorzWrochna, director-general of the NCBJ. “The example of our plasma gun shows that Polish scientists do not limit themselves to purchasing equipment, but are also developing their own designs. The challenges that those designing such advanced research facilities must face are an excellent driving force to develop new technologies.”

The total value of the 安ierk plasma project is zl.39.67 million. The project is co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund as part of a Regional Operational Programme for Poland’s Mazovia province.
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