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Professor Deborah O'Connell
Director York Plasma Institute



Research Area

I lead a research group in the area of low-temperature plasmas and their applications with a particular emphasis on plasma medicine

Previous Posts

  • 2011 - 2015 EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship / Lecturer, University of York, UK
  • 2010 – 2011 EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
  • 2008 – 2010 Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
  • 2004 – 2008 Postdoc Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany


William Crookes Prize 2018

Hershkowitz Plasma Sources Science and Technology Early Career Award 2013



Research interests

  • Low temperature plasmas: low pressure rf plasmas, atmospheric pressure plasma jets, microplasmas
  • Technological applications of plasmas, including plasma medicine
  • Plasma diagnostics

Current Research Projects and Funding

  • EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship ‘Interactions between micro-plasma devices’
  • EPSRC New Directions for Research Leaders ‘Low-temperature plasmas: A key enabler in cancer therapeutics’
    Collaborator: Norman Maitland, YCR Cancer Research Unit
  • ‘Chemistry at cold plasma-liquid interfaces’ Leverhulme Trust funding.
    Collaborator: Victor Chechik (PI), Department of Chemistry
  • ‘Metrology concepts for a new generation of plasma manufacturing with atom-scale precision’ EPSRC funding
    Collaborators: Timo Gans (PI), Erik Wagenaars, YPI and
    Mike Ashfold, Paul May, University of Bristol

Research Group

Jérôme Bredin

Yury Gorbanev (joint with Department of Chemistry)

Angela Privat-Maldonado (joint with Department of Biology)

PhD students
Layla Alelyani
Martin Blake
Adam Hirst (joint with Department of Biology)
Andrew Hurlbatt
Sandra Schröter (joint with LPP, Ecole Polytechnique, France)

Internal Collaborators
Victor Chechik, Department of Chemistry
Norman Maitland & Fiona Frame, Department of Biology
Mike North and James Comerford, Department of Chemistry
Marjan van der Woude, Department of Biology 

Open positions: Contact for information.

Full publication list available in the York Research Database

Low Temperature Plasma research at York


Andrew Gibson
James Dedrick (Australian Endeavour Research Fellow)



Stage 3: Introduction to Plasma Science & Technology

2nd year laboratories

MPhys: current topics in low-temperature plasmas and biomedical applications


MSc Fusion Energy: Further Plasma Physics

MSc Fusion Energy: Plasma Diagnostic Techniques

External activities



AVS Plasma Science and Technology Division 2015 -
Executive and Program Committee

International Union for Vacuum Science, Technique and Applications (IUVSTA) 2016 -
Officier & Recording secretary
Chair of Plasma Science & Technique Division

British Plasma Science and Techniques Division Representative (British Vacuum Council)
Committee Member

International Symposium on Plasma Chemistry (ISPC) 2017 
International Programme Committee Member

International Workshop on Plasma for Cancer Treatment (IWPCT)
International Scientific Committee

Member of UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) College

Further information, see Pure

Editorial duties

Associate Editor
Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A & B (AVS Publications)

Editorial Board 
Scientific Reports (Nature)

Associate Editor
IEEE Radiation and Plasma Medical Sciences

Editorial Board Member
Plasma Medicine (Belgell House)

Invited talks and conferences

See Pure

Deborah O'Connell: headshot for staff profile page

Department of Physics
University of York
YO10 5DD
Tel: +44 (0)1904 324906
Fax: +44 (0)1904 322214
Room GN012, York Plasma Institute

Low-Temperature Plasmas research