Research course

Plasma science

Open University · Department of Physics and Astronomy

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 or equivalent in physics, chemistry or a related subject

Months of entry


Course content

Non-equilibrium (cold) plasmas are used for a wide variety of technological applications. For the last four decades low pressure plasmas have been a key enabling technology for the semiconductor industry; plasma-based physical and chemical vapour depositions are also required to engineer surface properties including mechanical and chemical functionality. More recently cold plasmas at atmospheric pressure have been recognised as novel sources of bioactive radicals for sterilization therapy. In all these cases, the monitoring and control of plasma properties requires detailed understanding of the complex, multicomponent plasma environment. This fundamental approach is central to most of our projects.

Current/recent research projects
  • Pulsed plasmas as sources of high energy neutral beams
  • Pulsed inductive plasmas for etching
  • Diamond microhollow cathode plasma sources
Potential supervisors

Department specialisms

We welcome enquiries from prospective students in the following areas: Novel diagnostics for low temperature plasmas Interactions of plasmas with biomaterials.

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
72 months
distance learning
variable months


part time
24 months
distance learning
variable months
full time
15 months

Course contact details

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 659036