Microwave Plasma Sources and Methods in Processing Technology
By: Ladislav Bárdoš & Hana Baránková

As someone involved in various professional outreach efforts, I always light up when people ask me a certain type of question. It takes various forms, but all point to the same answer and do so in such a way that may as well be an infomercial setting me up for a sales pitch. The question? “What do you like about science/engineering/in your job/your field?” The answer? “All the really cool stuff.”

Plasmas, emphatically and in a way that is beyond reproach, are really cool stuff. They are another state of matter. They are on an on-demand conductor path between, well, most any two points. They may be the key to the holy grail of energy: fusion power. And they are the source of infinite infinitely complex math problems. No, that sentence is not a typo. It’s a byproduct of how cool plasmas are.

So, it’s no surprise this is a fun book to read. I haven’t had the pleasure of doing much work with plasmas professionally, but it took me back to graduate school in a nostalgic way and continued a train of thought I had put a pin in on a topic I cared to know more about simply because it is fun to know about. The book is relatively short, frank and to the point. This is what plasmas are, that is what plasmas do, these are some citations if you want to know more.

The flow is logical. It starts with basic principles as either a useful primer or refresher and then moves to interactions of plasmas with other matter. It discusses the systems at reduced pressures, the systems at higher pressures and finishes with some applications. There are also appendices and an index to use the book as a reference, but it is not remiss to read Bárdoš and Baránková’s book in a linear fashion.

It is unfortunately not a perfect book. At 196 pages, I found it a bit short. I would have loved to read about more applications or to dive into further detail on the ones there. Keen readers can also pick up on certain parts of the book contrasting writing styles, presumably between authors. I’d like to see a second edition at some point, perhaps updated with some new trends and additional editing.

Overall, though, I’m certainly happy to have spent time with microwave plasma sources and given how interesting the subject matter is, don’t feel a need to qualify the intended audience beyond “STEM.” If the word plasma makes you curious or excited, you will be able to find something that interests you here.

Review by: Brian Rautio, Sonnet Software

ISBN: 978-1-119-82687-3

196 Pages

To order this book contact:

Wiley-IEEE Press (10 February 2022)