EF2270 Applied Plasma Physics 6.0 credits

Teknisk plasmafysik

Plasma, the fourth state of matter, makes up 99% of the visible universe. On Earth the diverse industries associated with plasma technology has been estimated to account for about 20% of the GNP. Present applications are found in practically every branch of modern industry, and range from fine structure etching and deposition in integrated circuit production to high power plasma torches. New developments in applications include atmospheric-pressure plasma processing, plasma addressing environmental problems, plasma medicine, and plasma nano- technology.

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Course information

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents *

Instead of treating the whole, very wide field, of industrial plasma discharge types, the course focuses on six discharge types that have been selected so that they together exemplify most of the knowledge basis in applied plasma physics. For each discharge type the focus is on the plasma processes that determine its characteristics, and one or two examples of industrial applications are treated.

  • Plasma physical processes: electron influx from surfaces by ion impact, thermal emission, field emission, cathode spots and corona emission. The balance of electron energy, both in ac and dc discharges. Plasma gain by ionization, and plasma loss by diffusion, recombination, and current losses. The self-bias process. Electron avalanches and streamers.
  • Characterizing parameters: collisionality, degree of ionization, degree of magnetization (for ions and for electrons). Scale lengths: gyro radii, mean free paths for elastic collisions and for ionization, and sheath thicknesses. The Hall, Pedersen, and parallel conductivities.
  • Discharge types: DC glow discharges, arc discharges, barrier discharges, corona discharges, sputtering magnetrons, and RF discharges.
  • Technical applications: Plasma etching and deposition in the microelectronics industry. Ion implantation. Medical sterilization. Electrostatic dust collectors. Plasma waste treatment. Plasma spray deposition. Plasma rocket propulsion. Plasma-chemical ozone production.

Intended learning outcomes *

After the course the student shall be able to

  • describe the plasma physical processes, and characterizing parameters, that are listed in the course content
  • explain the functioning, with focus on the dominating plasma physical processes, of the six discharge types that are listed in the course content
  • describe the technical applications of plasma processing that are listed in the course content, and explain how the discharge types’ characteristic parameters are related to the desired use of the devices

in order to

  • make the student familiar with a broad range of technical plasma devices, and able to analyze and describe their main plasma physical characteristics and principles of operation.

For the highest grade the student shall be able to apply the knowledge also to analyze and characterize other discharge types than those treated in the course.

Course Disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites *

Completed course EF2200 Plasma Physics, or the equivalent.

Recommended prerequisites

Basic electromagnetic field theory.

For single course students: documented proficiency in English B or equivalent.


No information inserted


The course literature list is announced on the course page.

Examination and completion

Grading scale *

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Examination *

  • TEN1 - Examination, 6.0 credits, Grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Written examination.

It is the examiner who, in agreement with KTH´s coordinator for disabilities, will decide on possible adapted examination for students with a proven permanent disability. The examiner may permit another examination format at the re-examination of individual students.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Svetlana Ratynskaia

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web EF2270

Offered by

EECS/Electrical Energy Engineering

Main field of study *

Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics, Physics

Education cycle *

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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Svetlana Ratynskaia

Ethical approach *

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Supplementary information

In this course, the EECS code of honor applies, see: