|Master of Science Oral Defense|
Katie M. Uppfalt
Advisor: Lorin S. Matthews, Ph.D.
Environmental Applications of Plasma Physics: Aerosolized Nanoparticle Decontamination using an Inductively Heated Plasma Device
Materials with sizes on the nanometer scale are highly desired for their unique size-dependent properties that prove beneficial in industrial and consumer processes. However, the increased use of nanomaterials could lead to an increased risk of exposure to materials that are detrimental to human health. The link between inhalation of nano-scale particles and diseases of the lungs are of particular concern. In an effort to reduce the risk of exposure to aerosolized nanometer sized particles, a new method is recommended to remove nanoparticles from the air using plasma. It is proposed that the test system subject SiO2 nanoparticles to plasma treatment in an inductively heated plasma generator to study the effectiveness and efficiency of plasma as an aerosolized nanoparticle decontamination mechanism. The treatment system is a multi-step process involving the generation and characterization of nanoparticles and plasma treatment, followed by the collection and disposal or distribution of remaining particles.