A plasma is a partially or fully ionised gas containing electrons, ions, chemical and neutral atoms and/or molecules. A plasma is created when the energy content of a material is increased to allow and sustain ionisation of the constituent atoms or molecules. The energy input can be in many forms: thermal, chemical, photonic, electrical or nuclear.

Interactions of the electrically charged particles with each other, the neutral gas and contact surfaces produces the unique physical and chemical plasma environment:

   - excites atoms and molecules producing light
     (applications e.g. lighting, x-ray lasers)

   - dissociates molecules producing chemically reactive species
applications e.g. micro and nano electronics, textile industry and medicine)

   - can generate extremely large electric fields
      (applications e.g charged particle acceleration for medical diagnostics and therapies)

   - can generate very hot matter at extremely high densities
      (applications e.g. energy (nuclear fusion), laboratory astrophysics)

 The main research themes pursued in our Centre are: