The Michigan Engineer News Center

Professor Mark Kushner earns top awards for plasma sciences work

International Plasma Chemistry Society recognized NERS professor for his work in non-equilibrium plasmas.| Short Read
Enlargeportrait of Mark Kushner
IMAGE:  NERS professor Mark Kushner

In August, NERS Professor Mark Kushner, who holds a joint appointment in the NERS department as well as his home in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department, received the 2017 Plasma Chemistry Award from the International Plasma Chemistry Society (IPCS). The award was presented during a ceremony at the 23rd International Symposium on Plasma Chemistry, held in summer 2016.

The Plasma Chemistry Award is the highest recognition the IPCS bestows. According to the organization’s website:

Professor Kushner has worked on nearly all aspects of non-equilibrium plasmas. He has been strongly involved in the plasma community and has been leading many innovations in modeling. His earlier work has become a standard in the field. During the last decades, he has been continuously leading the modeling field towards new application areas in plasma chemistry. His modeling work on plasmas in bubbles, plasma-tissue interaction, plasma jets, plasma etching, surface modification and non-equilibrium chemistry for plasma based environmental remediation had significant impact on the field of plasma chemistry and strongly contributed to the advancement of the field.

Kushner also has won the 2015 IEEE NPSS Charles K. Birdsall Award from the Nuclear & Plasma Sciences Society. The award honors outstanding contributions in computational nuclear and plasma science, and Kushner was recognized for his work in computational low temperature plasmas and applications and his leadership of the plasma community.

Birdsall (1925-2012) was a UM alumnus (BSE EE and Math ’46, MSE EE ’48) and went on to become a renowned plasma scientist and inventor. The eponymous award was established by the IEEE Foundation through a gift from his wife Ginger and the Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society.

portrait of Mark Kushner
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Steven Winters
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Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences

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The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read