Electrifying the Future: Non-Thermal Plasmas for Revolutionizing Chemical
Plasmas, also called gas discharges, are one of the unsung heroes of modern science and engineering. In addition to being used for important scientific discoveries throughout history – such as the discovery of argon – one class of plasmas, called non-equilibrium or non-thermal plasmas, have also formed the backbone of many technologies that sustain the modern world, from microelectronics to lighting. Recently, a number of advances have shown that the non-equilibrium environment in the plasma is well-suited to overcoming challenges across a wide variety of domains, leading to a number of emerging areas where plasma engineering is well-poised to make important contributions over the next several decades. In this talk, I will overview our vision for using plasmas to ‘electrify’ goods production in the United States and in particular chemical production, focusing on two complementary areas. The first is liquid-phase chemical production by bringing a plasma in contact with a liquid, promoting chemistry and physics at the gas-liquid interface, a field we have termed plasma electrochemistry. The second is gas-phase chemical production by coupling a plasma with a catalytic reactor, a field we have termed plasma catalysis. In both, I will focus on how comprehensive fundamental studies, tackling the problems using different experimental, computational, and theoretical techniques, are needed to advance the field and realize practical technologies.
Bio: David B. Go is the Viola D. Hank Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Vice President & Associate Provost for Academic Strategy at the University of Notre Dame. Prior to his current role, he was the Chair of the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. Professor Go has published widely in the areas of plasma science and engineering, heat transfer and fluid dynamics, and chemical analysis and holds seven patents or patent applications, leading to two licensed technologies. Professor Go has been recognized with the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Research Award, the National Science Foundation CAREER award, the Electrochemistry Society Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship, the Electrostatics Society of America Rising Star and Distinguished Service Awards, and the IEEE Nuclear & Plasma Sciences Society Early Achievement Award. He is an ASME Fellow, Senior Member of IEEE, and former President of the Electrostatics Society of America. At Notre Dame, he has received the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and was a Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellow. Prior to joining Notre Dame in 2008, Professor Go received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, M.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Cincinnati, and Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University.