Foundations of plasma photonics: lamps, lasers, and electromagnetic devices

Sander Nijdam, Kavita V. Desai, Sung Jin Park, Peter P. Sun, Osamu Sakai, Graeme Lister, J. Gary Eden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The enduring contributions of low temperature plasmas to both technology and science are largely a result of the atomic, molecular, and electromagnetic (EM) products they generate efficiently such as electrons, ions, excited species, and photons. Among these, the production of light has arguably had the greatest commercial impact for more than a century, and plasma sources emitting photons over the portion of the EM spectrum extending from the microwave to soft x-ray regions are currently the workhorses of general lighting (outdoor and indoor), photolithography for micro- and nano-fabrication of electronic devices, disinfection, frequency standards (atomic clocks), lasers, and a host of other photonic applications. In several regions of the EM spectrum, plasma sources have no peer, and this article is devoted to an overview of the physics of several selected plasma light sources, with emphasis on thermal arc and fluorescent lamps and the more recently-developed microcavity plasma lamps in the visible and ultraviolet/vacuum ultraviolet regions. We also briefly review the physics of plasma-based metamaterials and plasma photonic crystals in which low temperature plasma tunes the EM properties of filters, resonators, mirrors, and other components in the microwave, mm, and sub-mm wavelength regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number123001
JournalPlasma Sources Science and Technology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • laser
  • light source
  • metamaterials
  • photonic crystal
  • plasma
  • radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Foundations of plasma photonics: lamps, lasers, and electromagnetic devices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this