BSc and MSc projects

There are ample traineeship opportunities for students in our group.

In experimental projects you will familiarise yourself with one or more of the passive or active plasma diagnostics that we have available in our group. It is also possible to work on theoretical subjects, ranging from plasma fluid modelling to atomic-scale Monte Carlo simulations.

In all projects you team up with one or more of our PhD students and staff members. You are a full member of such research team and  will get a flavour of state-of-the-art plasma research. If you are interested in previous experiences of students at EPG, please check out the testimonials page.

If you are interested, please contact one of our PhD students or staff members, or take a look at the list of available projects below. Please note that this list contains examples, but there are many more possibilities at EPG, so be sure to contact us if you are interested.

More information on BEP projects can be obtained from contacts given below individual project descriptions or at .

List of available Master projects

Exploring the (de)charging of small particles in plasma afterglow

When small dust particles are immersed into a plasma, these particles are electrically charged. Utilizing this complex but interesting phenomenon of plasma-charging, the path of particles can eventually be controlled using electric and/or magnetic fields, either externally applied or induced by the plasma itself. In this project the (de)charging principles in the afterglow of the plasma are to be studied. The results will be compared to the developed (de)charging model. Measuring the (de)charging of particles in the plasma afterglow is never done before. This is interesting new research in collaboration with VDL-ETG! Contact Boy van Minderhout:

Modelling of atmospheric pressure DBD plasma in a roll-to-roll configuration (in cooperation with DIFFER and FujiFilm)

Atmospheric-pressure plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (AP-PECVD) is a novel technology to manufacture functional thin films. The aim of the project is to model the spatial-temporal discharge evolution in the DBD with different electrode geometries. The modelling results will be combined and evaluated with respect to the experimental work executed in DIFFER and Fujifilm. The knowledge obtained by the simulations will help to provide a deeper insight into the plasma generation mechanism and the thin film growth. Contact Diana Mihailova:

Forbidden dust growth

Growing dust in a plasma requires the plasma to fulfill certain criteria. The goal of this project is force the plasma to grow dust in very unfavorable conditions (for the plasma, not for the student). Contact Bart Platier:

Electric field measurements in dielectric barrier discharges (DBDs)

DBDs are plasma sources that operate at atmospheric pressure and are researched for use in medicine. There is a lack of fundamental knowledge concerning the properties of these sources, for example the electric field is a very difficult property to measure. The focus of the project is the measurements of the electric field that the plasma delivers to the target. A setup needs to be built and calibrated for use with various types of solid and liquid targets. Contact Ana Sobota:

Electric field measurements in plasma jets

This plasma jet is a non-thermal plasma source developed for treatment of sensitive surfaces at atmospheric pressure. You would be using a spectroscopic method to determine the electric field in a “plasma bullet”. The groundwork for this has been done in atmospheric air, your job would be to do this as a function of controlled gas composition. Contact Ana Sobota:

Development of Boltzmann solver

In plasma physics the collisions of electrons with heavy particles play an important role in the evolution of the plasma. For plasmas with a high degree of ionization the Electron Energy Distribution Function (EEDF) is in approximation a Maxwellian function. For low ionization degrees, however, this approximation is not valid anymore, and the EEDF needs to be calculated. In this project a Master student will develop and validate an own Boltzmann solver. Contact Peter Koelman:

Dust growth in an atmospheric pressure plasma

Nanometer to micrometer dust particles can be used in many applications. For industrial applications it is highly advantageous to create these particles at atmospheric pressure instead of in vacuum. For this reason the possibility of growing dust, with good control over the properties, needs to be explored. Contact Bart Platier:

Equipment list: Airbus A300, centrifuge, laser...

Currently, we are planning a new ESA parabolic flight campaign in which the sheath of a low pressure plasma will be investigated with micron-sized particles as probes. Complementary to these 0g measurements above France, a centrifuge will be used for the 1-11g regime. As the campaign will take place in Q4 of 2018, the student preferably starts late 2017 or early 2018. However now is the time to reserve your spot in the team. Contact Bart Platier: or Job Beckers:

Shielding in the plasma sheath

Suspending two particles above a shaped electrode and tilting the system will make the particles interact with each other. As particles are charged negatively, the particles will repel each other while the potential well force them together. The distance between the particles will be used as a measure for the shielding the plasma induces between the particles. This project will determine the plasma shielding inside the plasma sheath, which is very hard to measure directly. Contact Patrick Meijaard:

Ion flow around a dust particle in the plasma sheath

As a particle is suspended in the plasma sheath, ions flow around said particle. A second particle can be suspended above the other, forming a system that appears to be coupled in only one direction, parallel to the ion flow. As a centrifuge can increase the ‘weight’ of the particles, the system can be analyzed at different heights above the electrode. At different heights, the ion velocity will be different, which will alter the coupling between the particles. This project’s goal is to analyze the ion flow around a single and dual particle system, which can be compared to numerical results. Contact Patrick Meijaard:

Laser diagnostics on atmospheric pressure plasma bullets

When a plasma jet is driven by high voltage pulses so called plasma bullets are generated. These bullets travel at tremendous speeds of up to 10^6 m/s. Determining their properties is challenging because it requires measurements with high spatial and temporal resolution. Many plasma diagnostics are based around shooting one (or multiple) lasers at the plasma. In this project the plasma bullets can be investigated by applying laser techniques such as Rayleigh scattering, coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering and Thomson scattering. Contact Marc van der Schans:

Shooting plasma bullets at metallic and dielectric surfaces

In the last few years many new application of plasma jets and bullets have been explored, mostly in the fields of biomedicine and surface treatment. However, complete understanding of the interaction of plasma jets with surfaces is often still lacking. The goal of the project is to investigate the interaction of plasma bullets with metallic and dielectric surfaces. In addition we want to study the possibility of using plasma bullets as a diagnostic tool for surface properties. Contact Marc van der Schans:

List of available BEProjects

Low power consumption atmospheric plasma on a print

Atmospheric plasmas can be used for cleaning and deodorization of gases. With miniaturization in mind, first steps are taken to not only miniaturize power supply and the plasma region, but also to merge them, i.e. plasma on print. A first experimental campaign should reveal which materials and plasma design are most suitable. Applied diagnostics are: UV absorption ozone, Optical emission spectroscopy of the plasma-emitted light and thermal imaging of the discharge region. Contact Job Beckers:

Making fulgurites with strong sparks

Fulgurites are objects made of sand molten by a lightning strike. In this project we want to investigate which conditions are ideal for growing such fulgurites. We will do this by using strong sparks, produced by the set-up that was used for the exploding-wire demonstration at GLOW 2016. These sparks will be applied to sand or sand-like material in a small container. This project will be performed in close collaboration with the EES-group of the Electrical Engineering department. Contact Sander Nijdam:

Plasmas for medicine

Cold plasmas have considerable potential for disinfection of skin and for wound healing. We have two plasma sources that are used in the Dutch Burn Wound Centre and a spin-off company from the TU/e, Plasmacure. Plasma diagnostics need to be performed. Contact Ana Sobota:

Acoustic Mie Scattering

First technical feasibility study for a new installation which may be displayed at the GLOW festival. As acoustic simulations are an important part of the project, there will be a close collaboration with the Turbulence and Vortex Dynamics group. Contact Bart Platier:

The Planeterrella

A Planeterrella is a set-up that can emulate various astrophysical plasma phenomena like Auroras, it contains two magnetized metal spheres on high (DC) voltage. It is operated in air or other gasses at pressures of about 0.5 mbar. The set-up was built in 2016 and still shows many phenomena which we don’t fully understand. Contact Sander Nijdam:

PlasmaPendix: odor control for stoma care by plasma technology

In order to significantly improve the quality of life for stoma patients, PlasmaPendix – a spin-off from the EPG group – developed plasma-assisted technology to control gas flows and to prevent odor release from stoma bags while in use. With proof of principle demonstrated recently we start the next and most important step: characterization of the initiated plasma chemistry and development in terms of plasma geometry and effectiveness. We are looking for motivated students with hands-on attitude. Contact Job Beckers:

Circuit dependent streamer branching in nitrogen

Streamer discharges are the first stage of any spark and occur on nanosecond timescales. They are widely used in many applications for decades. Streamer channels are known to split into multiple smaller channels during propagation. However, the mechanism behind branching is not fully understood yet. We will investigate this phenomenon with two types of electric circuit and generate voltage pulses with rise times from ten to over several hundred nanoseconds, to figure out how streamer branching in nitrogen is influenced by the voltage pulse shape. Contact Yuan Li:

Inkjet printing of nanoparticles for plasma research

Nanoparticles are used in various industrial applications to improve their performance (e.g. solar cells, coatings, composites), but often lead to contamination in industrial plasmas. In the area of Dusty and Complex Plasma, one of our goals is to study particle growth in a plasma on the nanoscale. This project provides an important contribution by designing and characterizing an ‘electro-hydrodynamic inkjet printer’, which ejects micro-droplets filled with nanoparticles into a plasma. Wondering what the first prototype will look like? Feel free to contact me and let’s find out. Contact Tim Staps:

Streamers in CO2

The goal is to fundamentally investigate the behaviour of electrical streamers in CO2, generated by high voltage pulses under various conditions. Related applications are high voltage circuit breakers, understanding lightning strike observations on Venus and solar fuels utilizing CO2 conversion. Experimental measurements will mostly consist of high speed imaging, where we use advanced techniques to try and derive the streamercharacteristics. Contact Siebe Dijcks:

Low restriction atmospheric particle filter

An experimental first feasibility study to use a novel plasma geometry as ultrafine particle filter for various applications. Contact Job Beckers:

The equipotential surface of a plasma sheath formed above an electrode.

Tilting the vessel in hypergravity will alter the apparent gravity vector. This vector affects a levitating particle suspended in the plasma sheath, where this particle is used as a probe. This project will determine the shape of the potential well, formed by a shaped electrode, in the plasma sheath. Contact Patrick Meijaard:

Extending the force balance model for dust suspended in the plasma sheath

Finding the particles charge is paramount in the analysis of the plasma sheath. Several methods exist that determine the particles charge but large uncertainties exist. It is suspected that the used model for the particle charge is not sufficient and that additional terms should be added. This project will use previous and new measurements to which different models are applied and differences are discussed. Contact Patrick Meijaard:

1D MATLAB model of an Argon radio frequency generated plasma sheath

The plasma sheath is very important as every (laboratory-) confined plasma develops its own sheath. The electric fields and plasma particle fluxes are sought as they govern the plasma behavior as a whole. In the edge of the plasma, a macroscopic particle is modelled which is levitating in the plasma sheath. In this project a simple model of an Argon RF discharge is made, with the emphasis on the plasma sheath, together with a levitating particle. Contact Patrick Meijaard:

Plasmas for agriculture

Cold atmospheric pressure plasmas are efficient at killing bacteria and fungi, which makes them ideal for use in agriculture for e.g. treatment of seeds to remove the fungi and make the seeds more viable. We have several plasma sources that need to be characterized in the presence of different substrates relevant for this application. Contact Ana Sobota: