The main research area of the High-Pressure Plasmas Group is low-temperature plasma science, including plasma processes relevant to electrical power equipment. The focus of research of the group is interaction of high-pressure plasmas with electrodes, in particular, near-electrode phenomena in arc plasmas and sheaths and self-organization on electrodes of discharges of different types, where the group is a recognized international authority. The group is based on the Penteada Campus of Universidade da Madeira in Funchal.

Plasma-electrode interaction is a multi-scale phenomenon and processes occurring on different scales are governed by very different mechanisms. Therefore, the approach of the group is necessarily multidisciplinary and relies on theoretical methods of plasma physics and chemistry, fluid dynamics, nonlinear physics, and kinetic theory, asymptotic methods, numerical simulation, and experiments performed in partner laboratories abroad and in a plasma laboratory operated by the group, which was established with support from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal), COST programme of the EU, and industry (Philips).

Funding for the group in 2020-2022 was provided by application-oriented fundamental-research projects funded by industry (Siemens Corporate Technology, Germany; Schneider Electric, France), project PlasMa (European Regional Development Fund), and IPFN (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia). The main research topics in 2020-2022 have been plasma-electrode interaction in high-pressure arc discharges, study of time-averaged characteristics of positive and negative DC corona discharges in point-plane gaps in atmospheric air, simulation of pre-breakdown discharges in high-pressure air, modeling low-current quasi-stationary gas discharges, and numerical investigation of AC arc ignition on cold electrodes in atmospheric-pressure argon

Group Leader: Pedro Almeida


Pedro Almeida, Group Leader:

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