York Plasma Institute Laboratories and Facilities

MCF/Instrumentation Lab


Contains a magnetically confined linear plasma device with a plasma column 5 cm in diameter, 1.4 m long, axial magnetic field 0.2 T densities in excess of 1019 m-3 and temperatures up to 10 eV. This lab is used for basic plasma studies and the development of instrumentation and plasma diagnostics for tokamaks, especially the UK's MASTU tokamak (at Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire).

Remote tokamak control room

This lab (housed in the main YPI research building) enables participation in tokamak experiments anywhere around the world. It has a videoconference link to the on-site tokamak control room, as well as a suite of hardware and software tools to access and analyse the huge amount of data generated in a typical discharge.


Laser plasma lab

Contains two Nd-YAG laser systems enabling pump-probe laser-plasma experiments up to intensities of 1015 Wcm-2. There is an array of x-ray and optical diagnostics and pulsed electromagnets for the study of high density plasmas expanding into magnetic fields. Interest is in preparing targets and diagnostics for use in higher power, national laser facilities, for studies in lower irradiance laser-plasma experiments and for simulating conditions in some astrophysical plasmas.


Thin film deposition lab

Low-temperature plasmas are at the heart of a range of techniques for the deposition of thin films and modification of surfaces. Applications in this area range from transparent conductive electrodes to waterproofing of textiles. Using our state-of-the-art suite of plasma and surface diagnostics, we focus in this lab on the unravelling the underpinning plasma science, with the aim to improve existing deposition methods as well as the development of novel techniques, enabling further advances in industrial applications as well as academic research.


Low-pressure plasma etching lab

Low-pressure plasma etching is extensively used in processing semiconductor materials for the micro-electroncis industry. This lab enables the development and optimisation of the plasma surface interaction for both further insight and industrial benefit. New diagnostics for process monitoring are also developed and benchmarked against direct state-of-the-art laser techniques.


Plasma technology lab

This low-temperature plasma lab will develop new plasma technologies for industrial applications ranging from nano-fabrication in the semi-conductor industry to bio-medical applications in health care. Important examples include new sterilisation techniques, wound healing including the development of dressings, and perhaps one day even cancer treatments.


Atmospheric pressure plasma lab

Atmospheric pressure, non-thermal plasmas are a relatively new discovery and offer advantages over low-pressure plasma systems, including potential cost reductions due to the absence of vacuum vessels. More importantly it allows us to treat temperature sensitive non-vacuum compatible materials. Little is known about their properties because characteristics are difficult to measure. This lab will focus on the basic science and understanding of atmospheric pressure plasmas.


Spectroscopy lab

Spectroscopy is a key tool for diagnosing plasma properties. A variety of active laser-based spectroscopy techniques and passive emission spectroscopy techniques allow us to directly measure key species and plasma parameters in both atmospheric pressure plasmas and low-pressure systems.


Microplasma lab

Micro-plasmas are very small-scale plasmas. They are combined into vast arrays to create plasma TV screens, for example. Our research in this area focuses on the properties of these plasmas, especially how they interact with each other when many are brought together into an array.

High performance computing

Our high performance computing is typically done on large, national supercomputers such as Archer or HPC-FF. We have an in-house Beowulf cluster with 56 cores (to be upgraded to 104 cores) that is suitable for smaller simulations, and for preparing large simulations for the national machines.