Physics of Collisional Plasmas

Introduction to high-frequency discharges
Author(s) Jacques PelletierMichel Moisan
Sciences de la matière, Sciences
Provides a clear, graduate-level introduction to plasma physics starting from the basic concepts.


This text is an introduction to the physics of collisional plasmas, as opposed to plasmas in space. It is intended for graduate students in physics and engineering . The first chapter introduces with progressively increasing detail, the fundamental concepts of plasma physic. The motion of individual charged particles in various configurations of electric and magnetic fields is detailed in the second chapter while the third chapter considers the collective motion of the plasma particles described according to a hydrodynamic model. The fourth chapter is most original in that it introduces a general approach to energy balance, valid for all types of discharges comprising direct current(DC) and high frequency (HF) discharges, including an applied static magnetic field. The basic concepts required in this fourth chapter have been progressively introduced in the previous chapters.

The text is enriched with approx. 100 figures, and alphabetical index and 45 fully resolved problems. Mathematical and physical appendices provide complementary information or allow to go deeper in a given subject.


Michel Moisan, Professor in the Physics Department of the Université de Montréal (Québec) is a well-known specialist of HF generated discharges. He currently works on a plasma steriliser for medical devices. He is co-inventor in 31 different patents, including the surfatron and surfaguide surface-wave launchers to sustain HF discharges.

Jacques Pelletier is Emeritus research Director (CNRS) in the Laboratory of Subatomic Physics and Cosmology, Grenoble (France). He designed several generations of plasma-source technologies based on the concept of distributed elementary microwave-plasma sources. He currently works on the design of low-energy plasmas for lighting. He is co-inventor in over 40 patents. They both contributed to create the International Laboratory on Plasma Applications and Technologies (LITAP) with research groups from France and Québec working on different aspects of low pressure microwave plasma technologies and their application to certain domains (biology, thin films, etching).

The authors have taught at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels. Through this book, their experience as teachers and researchers in cooperation with industry is made available to all readers interested by the fascinating domain of plasma.

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Published on  October 20, 2017
Updated on  January 22, 2021