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The presence of free-charged particles (electrons and ions) in plasmas enables them to demonstrate very attractive electromagnetic properties and unique interactions with electromagnetic waves. For example, plasma is the only naturally occurring material that can demonstrate a negative dielectric constant. This has resulted in plasmas being used as a building block in the development of metamaterials that demonstrate negative refractive index at certain frequencies. Existing studies on the impedance characteristics of plasmas have mostly relied on analytical modeling done in conjunction with experimental measurements. The assumptions involved in such methods could make them less accurate, particularly in the context of microplasmas which demonstrate strong spatial gradients. This study focuses on the impedance characterization of microplasma using a continuum model. The results presented are validated by comparing with recently published experiments and a good overall agreement is obtained. The simulations demonstrated that the resonant frequency of microplasma capacitor could be tuned by suitably choosing the operating parameters. Such methods may be utilized for validating and improving the zero-dimensional analytical models which can then be used for design and optimization purposes by exploring the entire design space. The results also show that with the ability to tune plasma properties just by modifying the operating conditions (pressure, the power delivered to ignite the plasma, and excitation frequency among others), plasma-based electronic devices may have a great potential for being integrated into electronic circuits.



Saurav Gautam joined UC Merced’s Department of Mechanical Engineering in Fall 2019 as a Ph.D. student. Before joining UC Merced, he received his master’s degree in Physics from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a bachelor's degree in Applied Physics from Kathmandu University, Nepal. His research at UL Lafayette was related to the study of onset and steady-state dynamics of atmospheric pressure dielectric barrier discharge. As a part of the same research, he developed his own Python-based open-source software named ‘PyDBD’ and made it freely available for use to the plasma community. At UC Merced, Gautam is a member of Prof. Venkattraman Ayyaswamy’s research group. Gautam's research interests lie in the areas of tunable electronics, plasma capacitor, plasma antenna, microelectromechanical systems, plasma processing, plasma-surface interaction, etc. 

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