The confinement of low temperature, non-equilibrium plasmas to cavities having characteristic spatial dimensions <1 mm is providing new avenues of inquiry for plasma science. Not only is a previously unexplored region of parameter space now accessible, but the interaction of the plasma with its material boundaries raises fascinating questions and opportunities. Other scientific issues that come to the fore include scaling relationships and the collisional processes that become prevalent in a high pressure environment. The general characteristics of microplasmas, as well as several emerging applications, are briefly described here. With regard to the latter, emphasis will be placed on photonics and, specifically, the demonstration of large (500 × 500) arrays of microcavity plasma devices in Si, the observation of photodetection in the visible, near-infrared and ultraviolet by a microplasma, and the measurement of optical gain in the blue (λ ∼ 460 nm) from a linear array of microplasmas in a ceramic structure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics