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This program aims to assist Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program institutions to drive improvements in education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
In late 2012, the U.S. Department of Education through its program “Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program” (MSEIP for its acronym in English), allocated over $ 740,000 to fund a research project undergraduate engineering of plasma at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. After a pre-selection of approximately 250 students, twelve students were selected to work on a project with duration of one year in seeking to understand how a strong magnetic field affects measurements of plasma temperatures and densities.
The group is composed of students José Cáceres Carmona, Lysabelle Colón Pedraza, Carola Cruz Molina, Edwin De La Rosa Leon, Carlos Diaz Rivera, Rose M. Garcia, Gabriel Gregorio, Anaisha I. Luciano Gonzalez, Christian Pérez, Ana Liz Rivera Roque, Carlos Samalot and Carl V. Sosa Rivera. The group “Caribbean Undergraduate Students in Plasma Science” (CUSPS) operates under the direction of Dr. Angel Gonzalez-Lizardo, Dr. Zayira Jordan, Professor Ernesto Ulloa, Professor Claudia Talavera and Mr. Ramon Rivera Varona. Mentors Juan S. Luz and Luis Agosto, students fifth year courses in engineering, also support the initiative to offer support to participants.
The project implements the use of the model “Affinity Research Group” (ARG), created at the University of Texas-El Paso, which focuses on developing research skills in students who are required to work in teams. By participating in research, multidisciplinary groups of students gain a rewarding experience that seeks to achieve the commitment to prevail in their studies until graduation and prepare them for the world of work and / or graduate studies.
The program aims to assist MSEIP institutions serving minority populations drive improvements in education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The participants use facilities include Plasma Laboratory of the university, which is equipped with a machine “Electron Cyclotron Resonance-Reactor” (ECRR) which creates plasma confining magnetic field and particles with a heating source microwave. The program begins a new cycle in the fall of 2013 when he recruited twelve new students to complete projects related to plasma diagnostics.
Cusps Students performed a plasma laboratory tour for high school future PUPR students. On this tour, the students explained how the ECR plasma machine worked and explain the functions of plasma on a daily basis
Cusps students practice for their presentations regarding the AGMUS symposium.
Cusps students present their work findings at the 2013 AGMUS symposium.
Student Edwin De la Rosa being awarded for presenting his work on “Plasma Electron Temperature Behaviour in Mirror and Cusp Magnetic Field Configurations”
Student Carola Cruz being awarded for her work on “Manufacturability Assessment of Canned-Rotor Pump”
Student Carlos Diaz being awarded for presenting his work on “Study of Electron Plasma Density Anisotropy for cusp ECR Plasma”
Cusps awarded students with Dr. Angel Gonzalez at the AGMUS symposium
For this first day of the experiment the current was established and the microwaves were varied on cusp mode
For the second day of the experiment the current was established and the microwaves were varied on mirror mode
For the third day of the experiment the current was varied while the microwaves were established on cusp mode
For the fourth day of the experiment the current was varied while the microwaves were established on mirror mode
Student Rose Garcia presenting her work on “Analysis of Smokeless Powders Components by Ion Mobility Spectrometry”
Student Gabriel Gregorio presenting his work on “Comparison of I-V graphs parallel and perpendicular to the magnetic field in Mirror and Cusp”
Student Lisabelle Colon presenting her poster on “Analysis of Single Langmuir Probe Parallel and Perpendicular to the Magnetic Field in an Mirror/Cusp ECR Plasma Machine”
Student Jose Carmona presenting his poster on “I-V Characteristics for Langmuir Probe Parallel and Perpendicular to the Magnetic Field in Mirror ECR Plasma Machine”
Student Edwin de La Rosa presenting his work on “Plasma Electron Temperature Behaviour in Mirror and Cusp Magnetic Field Configurations”
Student Christian Perez presenting his poster on “Behaviour of Larmor Radius and Debye Length with ECR Plasma in Mirror Mode”
Student Carola Cruz presenting her poster on “Manufacturability Assessment of Canned-Rotor Pump”
Student Carlos Diaz presenting his poster of “Study of Electron Plasma Density Anisotropy for Cusp ECR Plasma”
Student Carl Sosa presenting his experiment “Study of Electron Plasma Density Anisotropy for Mirror ECR Plasma”
Student Anaisha Luciano presenting her poster of “Behaviour of Debye Length vs. Magnetic Field in the Electron Cyclotron Resonance Device”
Student Ana Liz Rivera presenting her experiment “Larmor Radius Vs. Debye Lenght for ECR magnetized Plasma in Cusp Magnetic Field Configuration”
Students presenting at the ARG Orientation Activity
ARG Orientation Activity
Dr. Zayira Jordan offering a seminar on Research Ethics
CUSPS serving other students during the Open House Activity at PUPR
Making a screw in the tube for the Single Langmuir Probe.
Drilling the connector for the Single Langmuir Probe.
The connector ready. Trying the BNC..
Single Langmuir Probe group with the mentor and the connector ready to install.
Inserting the cables into the pipe
Sanding the connector
ARG is a cooperative learning approach to involving students with diverse backgrounds that effectively ensures student engagement. ARG uses an structured team approach to tach the students how to conduct research, lead effective team discussions, execute a research project, and much more. This model is the framework for evoking student’s interest and developing research skills in the area of plasma engineering (and engineering in general). The project team seek to integrate methods which have been deemed viable in helping students integrate and develop a sense of belonging to their communities of practice. Specifically, we seek to address concerns related to our Hispanic student population, the majority of who are part-time commuting students with economic limitations and a keen interest in improving their own quality of life at the time they contribute to their families and communities’ well-being. NSF-supported research reported the benefits of undergraduate research in attaining increased student confidence in their professional self-image and ability to do, present and defend research.
Group discussion of different papers being studied by the Cusps students.
• Discuss future achievements to complete experiment
• Review and discussion of completed tasks
• Review completed tasks
• Tasks to be discussed
• Final tasks to be completed to start experiment
• Resolve problem with measurement program
• Verify if the problem is affecting the SLP measurements
• Verify what else is needed to perform first measurements
• Document dimensions of probes installed on plasma chamber
• AGMUS Symposium
Full Professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Plasma Laboratory at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. Dr. González-Lizardo holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from University of Dayton and has extensive experience in power systems, controls, and computers. Dr. González-Lizardo ‘s research has focused on plasma applications and diagnostics, instrumentation and computer systems, and digital systems. He has participated in the publication of eight papers in international conferences in Plasma Physics. Much of his research will be the basis for the student research questions that will be developed for student research in this proposal. Dr. González-Lizardo has been directing an ad-hoc undergraduate research program at the Plasma Engineering Laboratory for more thant five years now. This program has benefited more than a 150 students since its inception, with the participation of around 10 students each term. Dr. González-Lizardo will be in charge of the management and administration of the proposed activities.
Holds a MS and BS in Theoretical Physics from the University of Puerto Rico (Mayaguez Campus) and is currently working in his doctoral dissertation at the Chemical Physics PhD program at the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras. Professor Ulloa is a full time physics professor at PUPR since 1994. His professional appointments at PUPR include Coordinator of Physics Courses and Professor at the Department of Science and Mathematics. Professor Ulloa has performed research work in the area of superconductivity at the Fermi National Accelerator, photon emission from neodymium ions trapped in crystal fields, numerical force field calculations for large molecules trapped in molecular crystals, and others. Professor Ulloa’s current interests in physics are centered on research at the institution’s plasma laboratory. He is currently studying the physics of hot electron populations created in the electron cyclotron resonance regions. His current research interest is directed to the application of these principles in planetary magnetospheres, pulsar electrodynamics, space physics, and ion engines.
Holds a Master Degree in Mathematical Science from the University of Puerto Rico, and a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science from the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Ensenada, Mexico, and is a graduate candidate for a Master Degree in Computer Science at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. Professor Talavera is Assistant Professor at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and worked in aBroadening Participation in Computing Alliance project, giving high school students a research experience in computer science, by teaching them the scientific method applied to computer problems. Professor Talavera is proficient in C, C++, Visual Basic, Matlab, Data Structures, Numerical Analysis, and Discrete Mathematics. Prof. Talavera is in charge of advising the students in the programming side of the research experience for the CUSPS students.
PUPR Plasma laboratory technician since 2002 to 2008 and Returned on 2010 until now. While working as a laboratory technician, he has participated on 38 presentations in which 17 of those were as the lead author and the rest as research mentor. Has been awarded on different competitions as the SHPE where he obtained third place on 2006 East conference and on the same year won second place at the MGE@MSA presentations in Arizona on April 21. The year later on the same conferences he was awarded third place. That same year NASA Living with a Star/Solar Probe awarded Mr. Varona a recognition for participation and demonstrate cooperation, initiative and exceptional performance. As a mentor, 6 of his students had won awards on CCCE symposiums organized by Sistema Universitario Ana G. Mendez. As a pastime, Mr. Varona likes to work on the entertainment industry working with lighting, audio and staging. His most proud achievement was working with Calle 13 as a lighting engineer in some Latin American countries.
Angie M. Escalante-Santana holds a Bachelor Degree in Social Work and Master Degree in Business Administration. Ms. Escalante is currently Director for the COOP Program and Placement Office at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico since 2000. As COOP Program and Placement Office Director, Ms. Escalante has had the opportunity to help students in job search, coordinate job fairs, offer workshops of professional development teach the Professional Practice course (COOP-3010) and serve as liaison between the industry and academia in order to establish professional relationships. She is also an active member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), Puerto Rico Chapter. Currently working with the Puerto Rico Manufacturing Association in events that promotes good practice projects in the industry. Ms. Escalante feels very proud of the work she does, having the opportunity to serve students, the industry and at the same time contribute to the development of the Institution.
Full time student of Electrical Engineering pursuing a major degree on Electrical Power with a Minor Degree on Communications. Mr. Luz has been working at the PUPR plasma laboratory as a senior mentor for research to undergraduate students. He is a graduate candidate for a Undergraduate Degree at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. At the plasma laboratory, Mr. Luz is in charge of advising and mentoring students on the manufacturing of probes, maintenance of the plasma laboratory and designing solutions to solve problems on a daily basis on the laboratory to enhance the research experience of the CUSPS students. Mr. Luz looks to pursuit a Masters Degree on Nuclear Engineering after graduating from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico
Full time student in Computer Engineering and graduate candidate. Currently working as a senior mentor for the undergraduate students in the Plasma Laboratory. As a mentor he is in charge of advising and mentoring students in their respective research, as well as designing and implementing software applications needed for plasma research. Mr. Alvarado is currently in the process of applying to a PhD. Programs in the field of Bioinformatics and Computer Engineering.
Ana Liz Rivera Roque, 21 years old from Cayey, Puerto Rico. She is majoring a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Aerospace at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. Currently she is participating at the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program as part of the Affinity Research Group (ARG), selected out of over 100 students throughout the university. In summer 2012, she did an internship at the Puerto Rico Electrical Power Authority, where she worked as a Mechanical Engineer Supervisor. Furthermore, she will be continuing with her Master’s Degree either in Project Management or Manufacturing Engineering in order to be able to work at a company in a supervisory position.
Anaisha Lucian is from Cayey, Puerto Rico. She studied and graduated with excellence while secondary studies. Since she began college she was already decided to make a Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering. Actually she is in fifth year in that concentration. Also she is working as a research student at the Plasma Laboratory of the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. The project implements the use of the model “Affinity Research Group” (ARG), created at the University of Texas-El Paso, which focuses on developing research skills in students who are required to work in teams. This experience gave me new knowledge in different computer programs, design programs, and the opportunity to create and manufacture the instruments that we needed for our project. After finishing her Bachelors Degree, she is planning to continue graduate studies and to find a job where the knowledge and experience she obtained during studies and researches in her years at college can be efficiently used.
Carl V. Sosa is a rising senior at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree on Mechanical Engineering with minor in Aerospace Engineering and plans to do graduate studies on fields engineering related. He is a member of the University’s Honor Program. His passion for aircrafts led him to participate on PUPR’s Aero Design Team from fall 2011 in which he helped on the design and manufacture of two scale airplanes for a competition. He is also a Hispanic Scholarship Fund Honda Scholar for his academic achievements and his enthusiasm for the STEM fields. On winter 2012, he was selected to work on the Polytechnic University’s Undergraduate Research Program (CUSPS group) as a Research Assistant. Through this process he has expanded his views towards engineering and developed new skills to further grow as an individual and as a professional.
Carola is a 21-year old fourth-year student at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. She is currently seeking a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Electronics. In November of 2012 she was selected to participate in a research proposal by the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP), as part of the Affinity Research Group (ARG) at PUPR Plasma Laboratory. Her work in the laboratory as a research assistant involved developing software to acquire plasma parameters data along with five other students. During the summer of 2013 she participated in the Summer Undergraduate Laboratory Internship funded by the Department of Energy, in which she worked at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory as an intern under the Measurement Science and Systems Engineering Division. Her work there involved embedded instrumentation and controls for advanced nuclear systems. She plans to continue her studies with a Master Degree in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor degree in Asian Studies. Her research interests include Plasma Physics, Cyber Security, Digital Signal Processing and Sensors and Controls for Advanced Nuclear Systems
Edwin De La Rosa is a 21 years old, undergraduate student, born in Miami, FL and raised in Puerto Rico. He currently pursues a Bachelors Degree, in Electrical Engineering, specialised in Controls and Automation, at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. Edwin was selected to work as a research assistant along with a group of students, at the PUPR Plasma Laboratory, were they have been given the opportunity to apply and enrich their skills and knowledge in a research project, determining the effect of a strong magnetic field in different plasma parameters such as density, electron temperature, Larmor Radius, Debye Length, etc.. Moreover, part of the objective of the project is to enhance the students communication and teamwork skills making them more effective in a group environment. De La Rosa took part in the design and implementation of computer software that calculates and stores the plasma parameter measurements into a comma delimited file. He also participates as part of the university Soccer Team. His current research interest is towards plasma jet for space propulsion technology. Furthermore, he plans to pursue a PhD in Nuclear engineering.
Gabriel Gregorio is currently a fourth year student at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. He pursues a Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in power. Once he obtains this goal he will begin his Masters Degree with a concentration in renewable energy sources. He is currently participating in a research program that is dedicated to studying plasma from and engineering perspective. In the summer of 2014 he has plans of participating in another research program or in an internship program. He plan to graduate in May, 2015.
José Carmona Cáceres is a senior pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Science in Mechanical Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. He is currently a research assistant at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico Plasma Laboratory. His interests are to go into graduate school and acquire a Masters Degree in Material Science and Engineering and in Business Administration (MBA), and a PhD either in Economics or Robotics. His schools of interests for Graduate School are Georgia Institute of Technology, and Duke University.
Lysabelle Colón Pedraza is a junior at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico currently undergoing her Bachelors Degree in Industrial Engineering. Before starting her Bachelors Degree in Industrial Engineering she attended the Turabo University in which she was studying natural sciences. Her goals are to get her degree, attend internships and do research to gain experience in her field of study. She wants to do a Master in Management and is interested in finances and accounting. She is currently working on a Research on the Plasma Laboratory where she was selected along with other students.
Rose Marie García Lozada started a Chemical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree in 2009. She has been working while studying at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. She worked at the library assisting special students at Technologic Assistant Center (CAT), a room for students with special needs; as a mentor in a summer camp, part of a STEM Proposal; and validating student’s courses in the Department of Finances. Currently she is an undergraduate research student at the PUPR Plasma Laboratory where we are seeking to understand how a strong magnetic field affects measurements of plasma temperatures and densities using an “Electron Cyclotron Resonance-Reactor” (ECRR). The U.S. Department of Education through its program “Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program” (MSEIP) has funded this research project. Also, the project implements the use of the model “Affinity Research Group” (ARG), created at the University of Texas-El Paso, which focuses on developing research skills in students who are required to work in teams. This research opportunity broadens her goals and is her motivation to apply for summer internships. Last summer she participated in her first internship, working as a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) research student at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland where she was analyzing smokeless powders components using Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS). She is planning to attend to graduate school, participate in other researches, and find a job in her field of study.
Electron Cyclotron Resonance or ECR electrons are accelerated by the combined forces of a magnetic field, causing helical trajectories at the cyclotron frequency, and an electromagnetic microwave fields in resonance with the orbital motion of the electrons. When an electrons path takes them through resonant Layers (Surfaces where the resonance condition is met), electrons are accelerated gaining energy from the oscillating electromagnetic fields of the microwaves. Multiple passages trough the resonant layers creates, by the process of electron impact with neutral atoms, populations of warm electrons , high energy electrons and cold ions.
The most natural approach to diagnosing particle energy distribution functions is by the insertion of electrical Langmuir probes to directly measure electron and ion fluxes in the plasma. The most important question is: what is the effect of the probe in the plasma? Because the measurements carried out by the Langmuir probes are local in nature, the perturbation it causes in the plasma canâ€™t be ignored. These perturbations will cause, in general, a misinterpretation of the plasma parameters like temperature and plasma density. The way in which the perturbation to plasma parameters primarily occurs is trough alterations of the electric potential and hence of particle densities and energy. The nature of the perturbations depends on the potential of the probe and the electrical current drawn by it. This relationship is the main quantity measured.
The insertion of a metallic surface in plasma causes the formation of a plasma layer known as the Debye sheet. Debye sheath theory explains the basic behavior of Langmuir probes, but is not well understood. Merely inserting an object like a probe into plasma changes the density, temperature, and potential at the sheath edge and perhaps everywhere. Changing the voltage on the probe will also, in general, change various plasma parameters. Such effects are less well understood than sheath physics. Understanding the effects of an electrical Langmuir probe on the parameters that describes plasma is of primary importance in the field of plasma measurements that is known as plasma diagnosis.
Since electrons are lighter than ions, they initially strike the surface of the probe with a higher flux; this causes the probe to be negatively charged repelling electrons and accelerating ions towards the surface. In order to equilibrate the fluxes, the Bohm criterion requires the ions to enter the Debye sheath at the sound speed. The potential drop that accelerates them to this speed is called the pre-sheath. It has a spatial scale that depends on the physics of the plasma source, but which is large compared to the Debye length and often of the order of the plasma dimensions.
Collisions between ions and electrons will also affect the current-voltage (I-V) characteristic of a Langmuir probe. When an electrode is biased to any voltage other than the floating potential, the current it draws must pass through the plasma, which, due to collisions, has a finite resistivity. The resistivity and current path can be calculated with relative ease in un-magnetized plasma. In magnetized plasma, the problem is much more difficult. In either case, the effect is to add a voltage drop proportional to the current drawn, witch, in turn alters the probe I-V characteristic. The deviation from an exponential function is usually not possible to observe directly, so that the flattening of the characteristic is usually misinterpreted as a larger plasma temperature.
In un-magnetized plasma, the current-collecting area is usually taken to be the exposed surface area of the electrode. In magnetized plasma, the projected area is taken, that is, the area of the electrode as viewed along the magnetic field. If the electrode dimensions are not small in comparison to the Debye length, then the size of the electrode is effectively increased in all directions by the sheath thickness. In magnetized plasma, the electrode is sometimes assumed to be increased in a similar way by the Larmor radius. This phenomenon is known as sheet expansion.
CUSPS (Caribbean Undergraduates Students in Plasma Science) are investigating the above perturbing effects in the plasma using probes of different sizes. The experimental procedure consists on measuring the V-I characteristic for a conventional Langmuir probe, both parallel and perpendicular to the axial magnetic field, in mirror and cusp magnetic configuration, for different coil currents and microwave power. With the probe characteristic V-I curve the electron and ion saturation currents, the floating and plasma potential are obtained, then the electron temperature, energy distribution function and plasma density are calculated. The magnetic field is measured in the plasma environment using a protected Hall probe and then the characteristic distance scales of the plasma (1) the Debye length, (2) Larmor radius, and (3) ion-electron large angle collisions mean free path are calculated. This distance scales are then used as guides in the construction of Langmuir probes that are smaller and larger than the characteristic distance scales. New experiments are then conducted with these smaller and larger probes to observe any variation in the measured quantities. By careful analysis of the data the CUSPS group will be able to say which effects are the more perturbing or if the dimension of the probes are of no effect to the obtained plasma parameters.
The experiments by the PUPR CUSPS group will suggest ways to improve on electrical probe measurements in the presences of strong magnetic fields using probes of different dimensions or by helping to understand the phenomena better in order to make correction to the measurement’s calculated plasma parameters.
Student training: Plasma physics – Plasma Two-Fluid theory – Feb/13
The Plasma Engineering Laboratory (PEL) was founded in 2004 for the study of plasma physics, plasma diagnostics, and plasma applications. More than 170 students at PUPR have received hands-on experience working on interdisciplinary research projects at the laboratory since its inception.
PUPR’s Plasma Engineering Laboratory is equipped with an Electron Cyclotron Resonance (ECR) Plasma Device able to work in two modes, Mirror and Cusp. The PUPR Mirror/Cusp Device has the unique characteristic of being able to run produce stable plasma for 80 plus continuous hours. The machine is cylindrical in shape with two copper coils wound around the machine to provide the necessary mirror or cusp field configuration. The plasma is heated using the electron cyclotron heating method at a frequency of 2.45 GHz, using a Variable CW Microwave Power Supply, until ,000 Watts.
The PUPR Mirror/Cusp Device can vary the plasma density between 104 and 1012 electrons/cm3 and electron temperatures between 0.1 eV and 100 KeV and magnetic fields between 100 Gauss and 2000 Gauss. It has many ports to introduce samples and probes, and to select the gas composition. Plasma can be produced from hydrogen, helium, argon, neon, and/or nitrogen depending of the type of experiment designed.
Students performing research at the PUPR Mirror/Cusp (MC) Device will have to use a unique set of diagnostics for measurements of plasma density and plasma temperature during the experiments. From the simplest Single and Double Langmuir probes to the more complicated Ion and Electron Energy Analyzers, the students will have the opportunity to use, design the hardware and software and build the needed to perform diagnostics. The design of PUPR-MC allows studies of basic plasma physics, providing easy access for new diagnostic tools and experimental applications. The practical design of this device, including the large size, the possibility for switching gases to generate different plasmas, the large number of ports to penetrate the device allow for diverse experimental applications including space plasma, solar wind plasma and ionosphere plasma conditions, plasma coatings, ion implants, manufacture of new materials, plasma sterilization of pharmaceutical products and medical devices, ion propulsion studies, and test of new plasma diagnostics, among others.
Additionally, the device has 16 radial viewing ports located in the vertical mid-plane, 8 tall ports (11 in. from vessel to flange) alternate with 8 short ports ( in. from vessel to flange). These allow for the introduction of multiple probes at the same time to the vessel enabling multiple concurrent diagnostics. The movable coils are located in their closest position of 30 cm. between coil centers which results in a mirror ratio of 1.15. This setting can also be adjusted as needed. Students working at the Plasma Engineering Laboratory have the unique opportunity of working in real life problems either performing a design project or a research project.