NANOSCALE CONTROL OF ENERGY AND MATTER: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR PLASMA SCIENCE
Kostya (Ken) Ostrikov
Plasma Nanoscience Center Australia (PNCA), CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, Australia
Abstract. Multidisciplinary challenges and opportunities in the ultimate ability to achieve nanoscale control of energy and matter are discussed using an example of the Plasma Nanoscience. This is an emerging multidisciplinary research field at the cutting edge of a large number of disciplines including but not limited to physics and chemistry of plasmas and gas discharges, materials science, surface science, nanoscience and nanotechnology, solid state physics, space physics and astrophysics, photonics, optics, plasmonics, spintronics, quantum information, physical chemistry, biomedical sciences and related engineering subjects. The origin, progress and future perspectives of this research field driven by the global scientific and societal challenges, is examined. The future potential of the Plasma Nanoscience to remain as a highly topical area in the global research and technological agenda in the Age of Fundamental-Level Control for a Sustainable Future is assessed using a framework of the five Grand Challenges for Basic Energy Sciences recently mapped by the US Department of Energy. It is concluded that the ongoing research is very relevant and is expected to substantially expand to competitively contribute to the solution of all of these Grand Challenges. The approach to control energy and matter at nano- and subnanoscales is based on identifying the prevailing carriers and transfer mechanisms of the energy and matter at the spatial and temporal scales that are most relevant to any particular nanofabrication process. Strong accent is made on the competitive edge of the plasma-based nanotechnology in applications related to the major socio-economic issues (energy, food, water, health and environment) that are crucial for a sustainable development of humankind. Several important emerging topics, opportunities and multidisciplinary synergies for the Plasma Nanoscience are highlighted. The main nanosafety issues are also discussed and the environment- and human health-friendly features of plasma-based nanotech are emphasized.