Ruud van der Horst: Characterising cold atmospheric plasmas

Hello, I’m Ruud van der Horst, I have finished my graduation project at the group EPG in August 2011. During my Bachelor I have become fascinated by plasmas, the fourth state of matter. Plasmas occur everywhere in nature (99% of the universe is a plasma), but due to the complexity we know relatively little about plasmas.

Because I was interested in the fundamental site of plasma research I chose to do my internship at EPG. The research done in the group and the ambiance within the group appealed to me and therefore I have chosen to do my graduation project also at EPG.

I have been investigating atmospheric pressure discharges in nitrogen gas with <1% of water vapor. Due to the discharge the water is dissociated and the OH radical is produced. The OH radical is very reactive and reacts with various organic compounds. Therefore is can be used for e.g. cleaning air.

The goal of my project was to study the physical and chemical properties of the plasma. Therefore I have been using various diagnostics. I looked at the emission of the plasma to determine e.g. the electron density and the gas temperature. With the use of LIF I studied the spatial and temporal distribution of the OH radical.

I liked graduating at EPG very much. As a student you are part of the research team and you get a lot of freedom to do your research. During your project you also join some conferences, which is very instructive and fun.

Ruud van der Horst, Eindhoven, August 2011