ECE 523
Gaseous Electronics and Plasmas

Displaying course information from Spring 2014.

Section Type Times Days Location Instructor
E LEC 1230 - 1350 T R   106B6 Engineering Hall  James Eden
Official Description Basic concepts and techniques, both theoretical and experimental, applicable to gaseous electronics, gas and solid plasmas, controlled fusion, aeronomy, gas lasers, and magnetohydrodynamics. Course Information: Prerequisite: ECE 452 or PHYS 485.
Subject Area Microelectronics and Photonics
Course Prerequisites Credit in ECE 452
Credit in PHYS 485
Course Directors James Gary Eden
Detailed Description and Outline


  • Introduction: Basic concepts of plasmas and gaseous electronics, the dc discharge, cathode phenomena, negative glow, positive column
  • Elementary theory of gas discharges: Langevin equation; simple theory of conductivity, mobility and diffusion; equations of continuity, momentum conservation and energy conservation; energy balance, electron temperature and energy relaxation
  • Collisional and relaxation mechanisms: Elastic and inelastic cross sections and collision frequencies; electron-molecule scattering
  • Boltzmann equation: Electron energy distributions in weak and strong fields (Maxwellian, Druyvesteyn); comparison of exact and approximate theories and calculation of transport coefficients for model and practical cases; computer solutions
  • Rate processes in gas discharges: Ionization, diffusion, attachment, recombination; application to positive column theory; rate equations, equilibrium, and transient properties of gas discharges, ambipolar diffusion
  • Physics of the sheath
  • Diagnostics: Langmuir probes, interferometry, Thompson scattering
  • Plasma processing: Radio frequency (rf), microwave, electron cyclotron resonance and inductively coupled plasma systems, ion energy distributions, etching and deposition mechanisms
  • Lasers and high-pressure devices; example of the CO2 laser
  • Modeling of practical discharge systems
M. A. Lieberman and A. J. Lichtenberg, Principles of Plasma Displays and Materials Processing, 2nd ed., John Wiley & Sons, 2005.

Class notes.
Last updated: 2/13/2013