Non-equilibrium in low-temperature plasmas

Topical Review

Abstract

The wide range of applications of cold plasmas originates from their special characteristic of being a physical system out of thermodynamic equilibrium. This property enhances its reactivity at low gas temperature and allows to obtain macroscopic effects with a moderate energy consumption. In this review, the basic concepts of non-equilibrium in ionized gases are treated by showing why and how non-equilibrium functions of the degrees of freedom are formed in a variety of natural and man-made plasmas with particular emphasis on the progress made in the last decade. The modern point of view of a molecular basis of non-equilibrium and of a state-to-state kinetic approach is adopted. Computational and diagnostic techniques used to investigate the non-equilibrium conditions are also surveyed.

Graphical abstract

Keywords

Plasma Physics 

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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNR NANOTEC – PLasMI Lab, via Amendola 122/DBariItaly

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