Purdue University Graduate School
Dissertation_Zach_Vander_Missen_V2.0.pdf (23.94 MB)

Plasma-Based RF and Microwave Circuits for High-Power and Antenna Applications

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posted on 2022-06-09, 04:26 authored by Zachary J Vander MissenZachary J Vander Missen

This dissertation focuses on gas plasma as a proposed technological solution to challenging RF and microwave system needs.

One of the most often investigated applications of gas plasmas in RF and microwave electronics is the plasma antenna. Plasma antennas are often introduced with a focus on switching or tuning the antenna via altering the plasma excitation or environment. However, plasma antennas must contend with challenging noise concerns. Continuously driven plasma typically generates significant noise. Measurements demonstrate the ability to mitigate noise under certain plasma parameters. In addition, pulsed-plasma operation conditions are measured, and their implications for plasma antenna operation are discussed. Bounds on feasible plasma antenna operation for multiple modalities are established.

Many modern RF and microwave components need to operate at increasingly high-power levels to fulfill demanding system requirements. In areas including radar, radio transmission, and satellite communication, signal control is required at the transmit side at power levels requiring new technologies to be developed.

Plasma-based power limiters for protection of sensitive circuits are developed. The effectiveness of a practical, plasma-based power limiting technique is shown with state-of-the-art linearity performance. Specific contributions to time-domain characterization of RF-plasma interactive phenomena are documented. A switched-stub impedance tuner utilizing plasma switching is presented, representing the first plasma-based impedance tuner in the body of literature. An attenuator based on a series-shunt plasma topology is also examined. A novel microplasma generation and localization technique based on standing wave effects is reported.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Electrical and Computer Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dimitrios Peroulis

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Abbas Semnani

Additional Committee Member 2

Sergey Macheret

Additional Committee Member 3

Saeed Mohammadi

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