Members

Michael Keidar is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at The George Washington University. He is Director of The George Washington Institute for Nanotechnology a consortium of laboratories which includes the MpNL. Michael is a Senior Member of The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and a founding member of the International Society of Plasma Medicine (ISPM), and a member of AIAA Electric Propulsion Technical Committee (EP). Michael's research interests include plasma propulsion, plasma-based nanotechnology and plasma biomedicine. He has authored over 130 journal papers, co-author of a book on plasma engineering and holds five patents.

Postdoctoral researcher

Postdoctoral researcher

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Yan  received his masters degree from Tsinghua University in China. At Tsinghua, he obtained the excellent masters dissertation prize, which is the highest academic award given to a masters student at Tsinghua (awarded to less than 4% of masters student). He obtained his Ph.D. degree at the George Washington University in the spring of 2016 in Dr. Keidar's research group, with a of GPA 3.95.

He started his postdoctoral training with Dr. Keidar in August of 2016. He has been working to solve the core problems of the interaction between cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) and cells in vitro and in vivo, the specific vulnerability of cells to CAP, the selective anti-cancer mechanism of CAP, the physical foundation of CAP, as well as developing cold plasma devices based on the novel understanding on plasma physics and chemistry.

He has been researching methods which fundamentally change our basic understanding of several phenomena in plasma medicine. Recently, he has discovered the cell-based H2O2 generation during the CAP treatment, which is his largest contribution to plasma medicine so far. This discovery completely changes the previous understanding of the effect that CAP has on cells. This discovery may also facilitate the realization of adaptive CAP devices. In addition, he has also conducted pioneering research on CAP-stimulated solutions during past three years.

As of May 2017, he has published 14 peer-reviewed papers in international journals (average IF>3) with first authorship. He is also the coauthor of another 7 papers. He has about 260 citations with an H index of 9 (google scholar). He has been a peer-reviewers of about 30 papers from 14 peer-reviewed journals. He was selected as the discussion leader of the Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) for plasma processing science in 2016. He has given several presentations at prestigious conferences about CAP and plasma medicine.

Zhitong Chen

Zhitong Chen

PhD Student

Zhitong researches cold atmospheric plasma (CAP). CAP has shown significantly potential for various biomedical applications. Currently, CAP is mainly directly used to irradiate cancer cells or tissue, while CAP devices are not available for specific conditions. Therefore, the plasma produced in water can be injected into tissues for cancer treatment to fit specific conditions.
Sungrae Kim

Sungrae Kim

PhD Student

Eda Gjika

Eda Gjika

PhD Student

Samantha Hurley

Samantha Hurley

PhD Student

Samantha Hurley is a PhD candidate focusing in MicroCathode Arc Thruster (µCAT). She received her BS and MS from The George Washington University in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. In addition, she is a PATHWAYS intern at NASA Goddard working for the Satellite Servicing and Capabilities Office.

She is designing a linear actuator system; this is a new version of the µCAT. The system replaces the spring-feed mechanism with a stepper motor to feed the cathode forward as it ablates. The motivation behind this change is that a longer cathode can be used in order to increase lifetime, there will be precision feeding via step control, an increase to the thrust over power ratio, and a magnetic coil is not necessary omitting any possibility of unwanted torque or interference with the satellite.

She is also working on a plasma cutter to cut through MLI blanketing on orbit. A high-powered µCAT is used. The plume cuts each of the 12 layers of the blanket for access to damaged parts that are covered by the material.

Jonathan Kolbeck

Jonathan Kolbeck

PhD Student

ResearchGate
Jonathan is working on a design of a micro-Newton thrust balance. This device will allow the team to fully characterize the µCAT device. He is also designing a next generation µCAT with ablatable anodes.
Li Lin

Li Lin

PhD Student

Li's research area is the physics of plasma. He is researching the behavior of cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) jet under different conditions. For example, He is examining how a CAP jet is affected by external electric fields, magnetic fields, and how it interacts with other objects such as nano particles.

In a recent experiment, Li studied the CAP jet in an axial DC electric field. The electric field was generated by applying varying values of electric potential to a copper ring. Regarding plasma diagnostics, Li measured several quantities: (1) the electron density was measured using the Rayleigh Microwave Scattering (RMS) method, (2) the plasma bullet behavior was observed using an Intensified Charged-Coupled Device (ICCD) camera, and (3) the chemical species in the jet were identified by analyzing the jet spectra using a spectrometer.

Luis Martinez

Luis Martinez

PhD Student

Luis is currently working on CFD simulations of transport and deposition of anode materials. This process can help us better understand the harvest of nano particles.
Akshaya Srivastava

Akshaya Srivastava

Master's Student

Akshaya is a Master's Student in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, has done his B.S. at the Georgia Institute of Technoloyg in Aerospace Engineering, including research internships at NASA Langley and NASA JPL. Currently, Akshaya is studying Self-consuming Satellites, as a potential solution to aid in mitigation of the Orbital Debris problem. By allowing satellites to use their own structural components as fuel for electric propulsion, the satellite can safely enter a decaying orbit at the end of its life-cycle, burn up upon re-entry, and leave space free from any of its potential debris.

Former MpNL Students

Therese Suaris (Ph.D, 2011), “Dynamic mission modeling and simulations: application of micro-vacuum arc thrusters and frozen orbits”, now at NASA Goddard Space Center

Jarrod Fenstermacher (Ph.D, 2011), “Cryo-focusing Pyrolysis Gas Chemistry and the Influence of the Plasma Environment”,  now at Applied Physics Laboratory

Madhusudham Kundrapu (Ph.D, 2011), “Modeling and Simulation of Ablation-Controlled Plasmas”, now at TechX Corporation

Lubos Brieda (Ph.D, 2012), “Multi-scale simulation of Hall thrusters”, now at NASA Goddard Space Center and PIC-C LLC

Olga Volotskova (Ph.D, 2012), “Biomedical application of cold atmospheric plasmas: cell response”, now at New York University

Jian Li (Ph.D, 2012), “Synthesis, diagnostics and application of carbon nanostructures in arc discharge”, now at Globalfoundries Inc.

Taisen Zhuang (Ph.D, 2012), “Micro-cathode thrustrer for Cube satellite propulsion”, now at US Medical Innovations LLC

Tabitha Smith (Ph.D, 2014), “Ablation Study of Tungsten-Based Nuclear Thermal Rocket Fuel”, now at Wright Patterson AFB

David Scott (Ph. D, 2014), “Microwave diagnostics of atmospheric plasmas”, now at Westwood College, Lecturer

Joseph Lukas (Ph. D, 2015), “Enhancing Micro-Cathode Arc Thruster (mCAT) Plasma Generation to Analyze Magnetic Field Angle Effects on Sheath Formation in Hall Thrusters”, now at Institute for Defense Analysis

Joel Slotten (Ph. D, 2015), “Investigation of Orbital Debris: Mitigation, Removal, and Modeling the Debris Population”, Space Systems Engineer at SAIC

Dayun Yan (Ph.D, 2016), The Application of Cold Plasma-Stimulated Medium in Cancer Treatment”, now post-doc at the George Washington University

Xiaoqian Cheng (Ph.D, 2016), “Enhancing Cold Atmospheric Plasma Treatment Efficiency for Cancer Therapy”, now at USMI LLC

George Teel (Ph.D, 2017), “uCat Thruster Characterization”

Xiuqi Fang (Ph.D, 2017), “Nanomaterial Synthesis”

Former MpNL Research Scientists, post-docs, visitors 

 Dr. Alex Shashurin (post-doc, 2007-2011, research scientist, 2011-2015)

Jinyue Geng (Ph.D student, China, November 2012-October 2013)

Kirk Woellert (research associate, 2011-2013)

Christian Karer (B.S. student, Germany, November 2012-February 2013)

Nina Racek (Ph.D student, Slovenia, September 2013-March 2014)

Dr. Ed Ratovitsky (September 2013-2015)

Fumihiro Inoue (Ph.D student, Japan, September 2014-January 2015)

Long Yu (Beihang University, October 2015-Oct 2016)

Simone Delaire (Research Scientist, France, September 2015-February 2016)

Shiqiang Zhang (Visiting Scientist, Eindhoven University of Technology, May-September 2016)

Yuerou Zhang (Visiting Researcher, China, Summer 2016)