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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2018 - 2019

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 7.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The purpose of this module is to present the fundamental principles of partially ionised, chemically active plasma discharges and their use in surface processing and other industrial applications. Introduce plasma behaviour by drawing on examples from nature and by pointing out specific plasma properties which are useful in technological applications. Provide an introduction to plasma measurement techniques and to the basic interactions between plasmas and surfaces.

Learning Outcomes

1. Develop and articulate an understanding of knowledge at the forefront of research both qualitatively, and, where appropriate, quantitatively, of the distinguishing features of a plasma.
2. Demonstrate the ability to identify the critical plasma parameters pertaining to industrial plasmas.
3. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate the importance of plasmas in industry.
4. Demonstrate the knowledge required to identify the requirements for plasma generation and characterisation.
5. Demonstrate the ability to apply physical principles in order to solve written numerical problems.
6. Demonstrate the ability to communicate the concepts, methods and ideas studied in this module with their peers via online discussion groups.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Directed learning75Study of online course material
Directed learning24Participation in online discussion groups
Assignment Completion30Study for, and completion of, 5 loop quizes
Independent Study58.5Study for final examination
Total Workload: 187.5

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Indicative Syllabus
Definition of a plasma: Relevant concepts from gas (kinetic) theory. Charged particle interactions. Collective phenomena and Debye shielding. Ambipolar diffusion and plasma sheaths. Plasma chemistry: Collisions and cross sections. Plasma composition. Plasma generation: Non-equilibrium and energy transport. Plasma formation and decay. Plasma properties: Particle and energy balance. Scaling laws. Industrial applications: Discussion of certain applications, and the properties of plasma that are most relevant to those applications.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • M. A. Lieberman and A. J. Lichtenberg: 2005, Principles of Plasma Discharges and Materials Processing, 2, John Wiley & Sons,, 9780471720010
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes