Education and Degrees Earned
- University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand Ph.D., Physics (1988)
Areas of Research Focus
Application and Evaluation of Laser Cavity Ringdown Spectroscopy for Atomic and Molecular Spectrometry.
This research was the first study to concentrate on the UV region of the spectrum using cavity ringdown spectroscopy and demonstrated the technique’s feasibility as both a plasma and medical diagnostic as well as for analytical atomic spectroscopy. Funding so far has been awarded via DOE’s "Development of Technologies and Capabilities for Developing Coal, Oil and Gas Energy Resources," the Environmental Management Science program as well as DOD’s Exploratory Program. Efforts are ongoing to develop applications from this technology in the areas of medical diagnostics, chemical warfare agents and explosive detection.
Fundamental properties of low temperature plasmas
Using the relaxation processes that occur upon pulsing a steady-state plasma, a picture of the fundamental processes governing the properties and behavior of an atmospheric pressure plasma (ICP) was obtained. This work resulted in eight papers, five of which were single author.
A Fieldable Toxic Metal Continuous Emission Monitor.
An atmospheric-pressure air plasma was used to dissociate both particulate and gas phase components of exhaust gas streams. Emission spectroscopy was then used to identify and quantify the gas stream composition and to investigate the underlying combustion chemistry. This work resulted in a portable instrument that could provide real-time measurements, at the stack, of toxic metal emissions. Our research group was one of seven developers invited to participate in a DOE/EPA-sponsored field test.
Electrode Health Monitor for Plasma Vitrifiers.
Designed, developed and tested a novel electrode health monitor to increase lifetime, prevent catastrophic failure, and reduce downtime of plasma torches used in both the metallurgical industry as well as vitrification systems treating mixed and low level radioactive waste. In addition to the development of the health monitor, this technique provided a probe into the fundamental processes of plasma-surface interactions.
Development of Hyperthermal Atomic Oxygen Sensors
These sensors were resistive thin-films designed to measure the atomic oxygen density in low–Earth orbit. This work culminated in experiments flew on both the shuttle & MIR space station. The results obtained by these sensors are being used to interpret the effects of the low-earth orbit environment on selected materials.