Innovation award for improved radio frequency plasma reactor

Nov 07, 2005

An invention by researchers from Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science won recognition from the Institute of Electrical Engineers at their inaugural Innovation in Engineering Awards recently. Professor John Allen and Dr Beatrice Annaratone won the Electrical Technologies category for their improved radio frequency plasma reactor. Plasmas are used in the manufacturing industry either to remove or to deposit material on various surfaces, with applications including the manufacture of electronic circuits and the production of films for solar cells.

The judging panel – which included internet pioneer Sir Tim Berners Lee and Alice Rawsthorn, director of the Design Museum, as well as leading figures from the engineering and technology industries – were impressed that the invention was based on a scientific phenomenon, called plasma-sheaf resonance, and was not just an incremental improvement on an existing process.

Commenting on the invention the judges said: ‘This entry is distinguished by a high level of engineering innovation, combined with the essential tenacity required to move any innovative product from academic research to commercial exploitation. Following extensive experimental and theoretical work carried out at the Engineering Science Department of the University of Oxford, this innovation places the design and production of future plasma reactors on a firm scientific basis.’

The IEE Innovation in Engineering Awards recognise and celebrate excellence in engineering innovation across a range of industry sectors and engineering disciplines. Entries were judged on a number of factors including social and economic impact, novelty, and patentability. Professor Allen and Dr Annaratone were the only winners from a university rather than industry.

Source: University of Oxford

Explore further: Tiny magnetic sensor deemed attractive

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cosmic jets of young stars formed by magnetic fields

Oct 16, 2014

Astrophysical jets are counted among our Universe's most spectacular phenomena: From the centers of black holes, quasars, or protostars, these rays of matter sometimes protrude several light years into space. ...

New type of cell movement discovered

Aug 28, 2014

For decades, researchers have used petri dishes to study cell movement. These classic tissue culture tools, however, only permit two-dimensional movement, very different from the three-dimensional movements ...

New molecule enables quick drug monitoring

Jun 08, 2014

Monitoring the drug concentration in patients is critical for effective treatment, especially in cases of cancer, heart disease, epilepsy and immunosuppression after organ transplants. However, current methods are expensive, ...

Europe to equip the biggest cryoplant in the world

May 23, 2014

A major technological deal has been reached between Fusion for Energy, the EU organisation responsible for Europe's contribution to ITER, and Air Liquide, gas technology global leader, in order to equip the world's biggest ...

Recommended for you

Tiny magnetic sensor deemed attractive

15 hours ago

Ultra-sensitive magnetic sensor technology pioneered at PML may soon be commercialized for a host of applications from detection of unexploded bombs and underground pipes to geophysical surveying and perhaps ...

Beams come knocking on the LHC's door

15 hours ago

Over the weekend, proton beams came knocking on the Large Hadron Collider's (LHC) door. Shooting from the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) and into the two LHC injection lines, the proton beams were stopped ...

Climate control in termite mounds

17 hours ago

When they make their way into homes, some species of termites can be destructive pests. Their fungus-harvesting relatives in Africa and Asia, however, are known for their construction prowess, collectively ...

The secret of dragonflies' flight

17 hours ago

Dragonflies can easily right themselves and maneuver tight turns while flying. Each of their four wings is controlled by separate muscles, giving them exquisite control over their flight.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.