Plasma Focus Devices and Applications

Plasma Focus Devices and Applications

Dense Plasma Focus (DPF) devices is a co-axial plasma accelerator which involves the storage of energy in a capacitor and pumping this energy in to a pinch plasma column during rapid collapse phase. The energy from the capacitor is discharged across a coaxial electrode geometry with the anode at the center and the cathode around it. The discharge initiates across…


Other Plasma Source and Its Applications

Plasma based synthesis techniques are an attractive option for surface treatment of various substrates. Different types of plasma of different powers can be used for the nanostructurization, nitriding, carbiding and also for the thin film deposition on the surface of tungsten substrates…

Energy Materials

Energy Materials

Energy storage devices serve as one of the essential parts for human civilization. To date, there are sufficient researches for such devices, typically, ion batteries, supercapacitors and fuel cells. Within them, the selection of electrode is becoming the most important fields. Herein, in our work, we mainly focus on the fabrication and application of electrode materials via the combination of plasma techniques and wet-chemical approaches…


Spintronics is emerging as leading contender for future storage and logic devices as it offers non-volatile functionality that can scale to high densities, fast speed with unlimited endurance. In spintronics, spin current i.e. a flow of spin angular momentum carried by electron spins, had played a vital role in unveiling the spin dependent transport phenomena in magnetic nanostructures….

Other Areas of Interest

Thin Film Deposition

PLD is a physical vapor deposition technique in which the pulsed beam of a high-power laser is focused inside a vacuum chamber on a target. The target is usually a sintered ceramic with the chemical composition of the film that is to be deposited. A significant removal of material occurs above a certain threshold energy density (depending on the material, and laser wavelength and pulse duration).The ejected material forms a luminous ablation plume directed towards a substrate placed front the target at a distance of 4-8 cm, where it re-condenses to form a film. Usually the plume (composed by neutrals, ions and electrons, and more complex species) conserves the stoichiometry of the target. The deposition can occur either in ultra-high vacuum as well as in a background gas (up to several mTorr) such as oxygen, which is commonly used when depositing oxides.

Current Project

38. Phase Locked Spin Hall Nano-Oscillators for wireless communication

Duration: 3 Years

Role: Principal Investigator

Project: MOE Tier 2 ARC 1/19 RSR


Abstract: The recent trend of 3D ultra-large-scale-integration where various systems are stacked on single IC and are interconnected with copper wires suffer from unwanted resistive and inductive losses. To overcome this issue, the implementation of wireless interconnects on 3D IC is much required solution. Nanoscale and broad-range frequency tunable Spin Hall Nano-Oscillators (SHNO) are most suitable candidates for these wireless interconnects for chip to chip wireless communication which also offers the strong compatibility with standard CMOS processing and technology. However, low output power of SHNOs still remain an open challenge.

37. Spin Orbit Coupling based IntelligencE TechnologY (SOCIETY)

Duration: 5 Years

Role: Co-Principal Investigator


Neuromorphic computing (NC) mimics the functions of the brain using a network of synthetic neurons interconnected through synaptic devices. NC is gaining attention worldwide due to its potential for AI and big data analysis at low power. The research objectives of this programme will be aligned towards developing spin-orbit coupling based NC hardware elements, such as synthetic neurons and synaptic elements and integrating them into NC architecture for technology translation. In this proposed programme, our research and development will focus on the physics, materials science and device aspects of scalable and enduring synthetic neurons and synaptic elements based on spin-orbit coupling (SOC) and demonstration and technology translation of low-power neuromorphic computing.

36. Nanoscale plasma engineering using low- and high-temperatures plasma for energy storage/conversion and spintronics applications

Duration: 2 Years (28 Aug 2018 to 27 Aug 2020)

Role: Principal Investigator

Project: NIE RS-SAA RS 6/18 RSR


Abstract: A plasma, as compared to solid, liquid or gaseous precursors, comprises of different precursor species (molecules, atoms, and radicals) in a large number of different energetic states (ionized, excited, metastables, and ground states). The basic premise of “nanoscale plasma engineering” is that these plasma precursors can be produced, transported and self-organized to assemble/process nano-phase materials with desired chemical and physical properties that are useful for applications in energy storage/conversion and spintronics. Plasmas feature a higher degree of complexity thus allowing nanoscale synthesis,

35. Rashba hetero-interface designing to tune charge-spin interconversion efficiency

Duration: Three Years (2 July 2018 to 1 July 2021)

Role: Principal Investigator

Project: MOE Tier 2 ARC 1/17 RSR MOE2017-T2-2-129


Abstract:Pure spin current offers advantages of reduced power dissipation, absence of stray Oersted fields, and decoupling of spin and charge noise; making them highly suitable for magnetization direction manipulation (write operation) in spin transfer torque – magnetic random access memory (STT-MRAM) technology. Current charge to spin conversion methods have limitations.

34. Plasma focus device and diagnostics for plasma and fusion-relevant education

Duration: Four Years (7 May 2018 to 6 May 2022)

Role: Principal Investigator


Euro 40,000.00

Abstract: The collaborative education, training and research have been demonstrated to have far-reaching impact and influence on scientific manpower training, technology transfer and strong research output. This has been demonstrated amply by training and collaborative activities of Asian African Association for Plasma Training (AAAPT) a group of 52 member institutes in 24 different countries. The AAAPT developed its plasma education and training programme using 3 kJ UNU/ICTP PPF (United Nations University/International Centre for Theoretical Physics Plasma Fusion Facility) specially designed for that purpose. The UNU-ICTP type PPFs, developed under AAAPT training programs, are now actively operated in several Asian and African countries and research on it has produced more than 40 PhD theses, 50 Masters theses and 400 peer reviewed research papers.

33. Graphene/metal hetero-interface based optical transistors by field controlled Surface Plasmons

Duration: Three years (1 March 2018 – 28 Feb 2021)
Role: Co-Principle Investigator
Project: MOE/NTU Tier 1 (2017-T1-002-087), $150,000

32. Novel plasma synthesis and surface nanoengineering of ternary electrocatalysts

Duration: Three Years (15 Nov 2017 to 14-Nov-2020)
Role: Co-Principle Investigator
Project: MOE-Tier 2 (MOE-2017-T2-1-073), $554,623

31. Vertical Graphene based Highly-Porous High-Performance Energy Storage Nanostructured Composite Assemblies using Novel Plasma Chemistry

Duration: 2 Yrs (9 May 2017 – 8 May 2019)Principal Investigator

Funds: $93,239.00

Project:NIE AcRF
RI 4/16 RSR

Abstract:Many types of energy resources store energy directly into them which can be used when required e.g. energy stored in coal, oil and gas can be extracted when needed. But in many situations we do not have the control over the availability of energy as they are intermittently available, particularly for renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, tidal, hydroelectric energy. If we do not store these energies they will be wasted. There are several methods of energy storage among which electrochemical energy storage (EES) methods/systems have received considerable attention to store these intermittent renewable energy. The EES systems are not only for energy storage but also capable of delivering the easily transportable energy in portable devices such as cell phones, laptops, vehicles, electrical vehicles etc.

Previous Research Project

30. High energy density pulsed plasma based alternate carbon overcoat deposition technology to push hard disk drives storage density beyond 4 Tb/in2 1.5 Yrs (1 July 2017 – 31 Dec 2018) Principal Investigator

NTUitive GAP Fund-High energy density


Abstract:Carbon overcoats (COC) play an important role in the protection of hard disk media from corrosion and mechanical wear. They play a crucial role in protecting the magnetic layers of a hard disk medium and hence the data of the users.In current technology, the carbon overcoats are about 2-3 nm thick and are made using a combination of sputtering and plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD). It is essential to move towards thinner carbon overcoats, but the existing technologies cannot meet the requirements at sub-2 nm. Therefore, alternative technologies, such as filtered-cathodic vacuum arc (FCVA),

29. Deterministic Plasma Approach for Synthesis of High Performance Cost-effective Commercial Carbon-Cloth based Hybrid Assemblies for Photocatalysis 2 Yrs (01-03-17 to 28-02-19) Principal Investigator

MOE/NTU Tier 1


RP 4/16 RSR

Abstract: Specific Aims and Hypotheses: The main aim of this proposal is to use appropriate plasma diagnostics to deduce the plasma chemistry in RF Plasmas processing of commercial carbon cloths to develop controlled and deterministic plasma based synthesis of highly porous nanostructurized (nitrogen/sulphur) doped carbon cloths (nDCC) which will used as electrode for transition metal – nitrides and/or -dichalcogenides to prepare cost effect hybrid light harvesting assemblies of TMNs//TMDs@nDCC for enhanced photo-catalytic performance. Methodology and Approach: The three-dimensional (3D) hierarchical nano-architecture of nDCC will be achieved via one-step nitrogen/sulfur RF plasma processing. Different parameters including flow rate, background pressure of nitrogen gas/sulfur vapor, RF plasma power and discharge duration will be optimized using optical emission spectroscopy together the characteristics of nDCC obtained.

28. Voltage controlled strain-mediated magnetization switching in ferromagnetic/ferroelectric heterostructures for low power non-volatile magnetic memory Two years (Nov 2016 to Oct 2018) Principal Investigator

MOE/NTU Tier 1


RP 2/16 RSR

Abstract: Specific Aims and Hypotheses: The main aim is to investigate voltage controlled strain mediated magnetization modulation in ferromagnetic/ferroelectric (FM/FE) heterostructures for applications in low power non-volatile memories. It is hypothesized that the power consumption in strain-mediated magnetization switching will be about two orders of magnitude lower than that of the magnetization switching driven by purely current and voltage assisted current driven magnetic memories. Methodology and Approach: Firstly, a suitable FM/FE heterostructures with large Converse Magneto-Electric (CME) coupling coefficient (a=50-100 Oe-cm/kV) will be synthesized using PLD and/or DC Magnetron Sputtering.

27. Synthesis and irradiation of nanostructured tungsten and carbon in plasma focus device to investigate effects of nanostructurization on recrystallization and radiation embrittlement One year (13-11-2017 to 12-11-2018) Principal Investigator




26. Surface functionalization of nanostructured electrodes by NIE plasma for performance enhancement 2 Yrs (Oct 2015 to Sept 2017) Co-Principal Investigator

MOE/NTU Tier 1



25. Carbon-based hybrid functional nanomaterials using various plasma routes 2 Yrs (21 August 2014 to 20 August 2016) Principal Investigator



RP 6/14 RSR

Hybrid functional nanomaterials are nanoscale materials with two components one which is organic and the other inorganic. They are assembled for the purpose of generating desirable properties and functionalities with twofold aim: to enhance advantageous chemical, electrochemical, magnetic or electronic characteristics and at the same time to suppress undesirable properties.

24. Perfectly ordered nano-heterojunction arrays for optoelectronic applications 3 Yrs (Jan 2014 to dec 2016) Co-Principle Investigator MOE AcRF Tier 2         $587386                            ARC23/13
23. Radio Frequency and Plasma Foucs Discharge Plasmas and their Possible Applications in Material Science 3 Yrs (May 2013- April 2016) International Collaborator FONDECYT, CONICYT, Chile Govt Approx – S$ 365,000
22. Atmospheric Microplasmas: Novel tool for Nanofabrication 4 Yrs (Feb 2012 – Jan 2016) Principal Investigator



RI 7/11 RSR

This project aims to conceptualize, develop and optimize various atmospheric microplasma systems (which represent a special class of electrical discharges formed in geometrics where at least one dimension is reduced to sub-millimeter length scales) for processing of thin films or bulk substrate surface; or for creating plasma discharges on liquid surfaces of electrolyte; or by using gas-plasma coupling at atmospheric condition to synthesize nanoparticles and nanophase structures on thin films or on bulk surface or in electrolytic solution or in gases.

21. Physics and Technology of High Repetition Rate Plasma Focus Neutron Source and Its Application in Pulsed Fast Neutron Activation Analysis 4 Yrs (Mar 2012 – Feb 2016) Principal Investigator

MOE/NTU Tier 1

RP 1/11 RSR


20. Investigations of Materials under High Repetition and Intense Fusion-relevant Pulses 3 Yrs (Feb 2012 – Feb 2015) Principal Investigator External, € 4500 per year by International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna

Abstract:One of the key issues still to be resolved in the quest for fusion energy production is the characterization, qualification (testing) and development of advanced plasma facing materials capable of withstanding the e>-ireme radiation and heat loads expected in fusion reactors.

19. Plasma Assisted Synthesis of Strongly Doped Diamond 1 Year (2010-11) Co-Principal Investigator MD-NTU/09/09 $50,000
18. Design and Development of a 2.5 kJ Plasma Focus Device with Experiments on Electrical and Soft X-ray Optimizations 6 Months Principal Investigator

External, $19,500

Funded by Kansas State University, USA

Abstract:The proposed project collaboration, aims to design and develop a cost-effective, single shot (0.2 Hz), low energy (2.5kJ) PF device for Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Kansas State University (KSU) to initiate the plasma focus research under the leadership of Dr Ali Abdou.

17. Dilute Magnetic Semiconductor Thin Films and nanoparticle synthesis by Pulsed Laser deposition and sol-gel for Room Temperature Spintronics 3.5 Yrs (Nov 2008 to May 2012) Principal Investigator


RI 7/08 RSR


16. Low-cost polycrystalline thin film silicon solar cells using controlled high-density reactive plasma processing 4 Yrs (1 July 2008 to 30 June 2012) Collaborator NRF – -$1,738,425
15. Novel Fusion Material Studies and Pulsed Fast Neutron Analysis using High Performance Plasma Focus Device 3 Yrs (start Feb 2008) Co- Principal Investigator MOE/NTU Tier 1 – RP 4/07 TTL, $100,000
14. Development of MOKE Setup for measurement of magnetic properties of thin films 1 Yr (March 2007 – May 2008) Principal Investigator SEP: RP 13/06 RSR $27,750.60
13. Neutron emission studies from miniature and medium size plasma focus device 3 Yrs (Start Nov 2006) Principal Investigator

MOE/NTU Tier 1: RP 3/06 RSR


AASC, US– 75,000

Abstract:There is growing need to develop neutron generators that are compact, long-lasting, efficient and inexpensive to construct and yet capable of using safe deuterium­ deuterium reactions to produce a high neutron yield or flux and can be tailored to meet a variety of specifications.

12. TEA Nitrogen Laser shadowgraphy system for current sheath investigation in Plasma Focus 3 months (Jan-April 2007) Principal Investigator External, ICTP, Trieste, Italy, (Euro 3000)
11. Time resolved spectroscopy and imaging of pulsed laser plasma 1 Yr (Feb 2006 – Feb 2007) Principal  Investigator SEP: RP3/05RSR, $136,185
10. Development of laser and Discharge based EUV sources 1 Yr (Feb 2006 – Feb 2007) Co Investigator SEP: RP4/05LCK $146,055
9. DPF production of Positron Emission Tomography Isotopes-Supplementary 1 Yr (Feb 2006 – Feb 2007) Co Investigator SEP: RP2/05SVS, $36362.40
8. Development of EUV sources  for nanolithography 3yr (Start Dec 2005) Co Investigator AcRF: RI5/05LCK, 94,366
7. Neutron emission studies on plasma focus with twisted cathode geometry 6 Months (Nov 2005–May 2006) Principal Investigator External-AASC, US, US$5000
6. Dense Plasma Focus production of Positron Emission Tomography Isotopes 3 Yrs (2005-March 2008) Co Investigator AcRF $160,000
5. Xenon Flashtube Plasma Characterization 1 Yr (March 2005 – Feb 2006) Principal Investigator External (Perkin Elmer) $89,300
4. Dense Plasma focus sources for intense pulsed radiation and particle beams Applications 5 Yrs (Ongoing) Co Investigator External IAEA $42,000
3. Pulsed laser Deposition of nano-sized Cr Co/FeCo magnetic thin films 4 Yrs – (Start June 2004 – May 2008) Principal Investigator NIE AcRF RI7/03 RSR, $149,276
2. Multiple Radiation Source 3 Yrs (2001-2004) Co Investigator A*Star, $500,000
1. Deposition and processing of thin films using repetitive plasma focus device 3 Yrs (2001-2004)

Principal Investigator


NIE AcRF: RP17/00 RSR $86,583
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