Plasmas in Liquids

We explore the production of discharges in and in close proximity to liquids. In liquids the discharge will produce intense electric fields, ions, radicals, UV radiation, as in a gas, but in addition they can produce voids and shock waves.  Liquids can also be used as a dielectric in a high frequency Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD), putting it in intimate contact with the reactive, light producing discharge.

While there has been work on these concepts for a number of years, it has been mainly empirical. We bring our experience in the plasma physics and chemistry of gas-phase discharges to bear on the study and development of liquid phase discharges.

We are developing new approaches to the generation and application of liquid discharges. In particular we believe that additional gas injection may allow us to enhance or to change the physical and chemical environment in current systems. This could allow targeting of specific solutes and/or contaminants within water.  Again based on our studies in high pressure gaseous plasmas we believe that the radical and the visible/UV light emission and the liquids electrical properties will all be very sensitive to impurities in the water which diffuse into the bubble. 

We apply the  techniques we have available to the study of water discharges, looking particularly at radical, UV production and visible light emission as well as the electric properties of the plasma.

This programme was prompted by some work we undertook with a US plasma scalpel manufacturer.