This thesis presents an overview of the research activities undertaken during my PhD under the supervision of Dr. F. Iza from the School of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering and Dr. B. Buckley from the Chemistry Department at Loughborough University.
The thesis is divided as follows. The first chapter of the thesis presents an introduction to plasma and chemical probes as well as the motivation for developing fluorescent probes for plasma characterisation. Analytical techniques used during this work to analyse chemical substances are described in the second chapter. Results and discussions from the experiments are discussed in chapters 3 to 7. Conclusions and future work are presented in chapter 8. In chapter 9, experimental data is presented.
In the last century, plasma has attracted the attention of numerous researchers. Due to the wide-range of applications of this ionised gas, people from different fields have focused their effort on studying plasma. Low-temperature plasmas have received growing attention in the last 50 years when the development in cold plasma devices made them more controllable. Plasma played (and continues to play) a critical role in the fabrication process of integrated circuits and recent advances in the generation of low-temperature atmospheric-pressure plasmas have resulted in the emergence of new applications including treatment of temperature sensitive surfaces and biological targets.
During the first months at Loughborough I worked on the ozonolysis of various alkenes with air plasmas. This allowed me to familiarised myself with plasma as this was new to me and get a feeling of some of the challenges lying ahead. Nonetheless, the data I obtained was encouraging and I presented the results of batch and flow plasma-based ozonolysis of alkenes at the Technological Plasma Workshop held in Manchester in January 2012.
Once I had familiarised myself with the plasma system, I worked on synthesising fluorescent probes to detect ozone, one of the many reactive species that are typically generated in oxygen containing plasmas. Details of the experiments conducted to date and most significant findings are discussed in this thesis.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.