Division of Space Plasma Power and Propulsion

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The Division of Space Plasma Power and Propulsion (SP3) was founded in 1986 as an international quality research team to undertake fundamental research in low temperature plasma physics, applied to space and materials processing. In the early 1980s, the Plasma Research Laboratory developed large volume plasmas for research into the complex wave-particle interaction which underlie the phenomena of auroral displays and the emission of radiation from compact astrophysical objects. During this period, the microelectronic industry was starting to expand dramatically, and the need for a major improvement in wafer processing systems became apparent.

By the 1990s, the ANU-patented Helicon plasma was regarded as a forerunner for the next generation of processing systems. The SP3 group is still the major innovator in this area, with 4 patents in the last 2 years and a large number of international visitors spending time at ANU.



SP3 group leader

Charles, Christine Profile Photo
Head, Sp3
02 6125 8068

Updated:  15 June 2016/ Responsible Officer:  Head of Department/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster