Workshop will explore measurement innovations required to understand plasma for fusion energy, microelectronics and more

Dec. 4, 2023

Sophisticated measurement techniques known as diagnostics are essential for understanding the complexities of plasma, a super-hot, charged state of matter that fuels fusion and forms the basis of many other technological applications.   

In response to the need for advanced diagnostics, the Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science and the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) are sponsoring a Basic Research Needs Workshop on Measurement Innovation.

Luis F. Delgado-Aparicio

Luis F. Delgado-Aparicio, head of advanced projects at PPPL, is the chair of the Basic Research Needs Workshop on Measurement Innovation. (Photo credit: Elle Starkman, PPPL)

The DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (UR-LLE) have been selected to lead the workshop. Luis F. Delgado-Aparicio, head of advanced projects at PPPL, is the chair, and Sean P. Regan, experimental division director at UR-LLE, is the co-chair. Curt Bolton, program manager at FES, is the DOE liaison.

“Improving diagnostics will aid public and private fusion efforts,” Delgado-Aparicio said. “Accurately measuring the plasma and the external components of fusion energy systems is critically important.”

Leading experts will gather at the workshop on Jan. 9-11 in Washington, D.C., to share research findings and recommendations. The anticipated basic research needs will be summarized in a report and submitted to FES in spring 2024.

Sean Regan
Sean P. Regan, experimental division director at UR-LLE, is the co-chair Basic Research Needs Workshop on Measurement Innovation. (Photo credit: Eugene Kowaluk, UR-LLE)

“The Basic Research Needs Report will allow experts to define the measurement innovation needs over the next decade for low-temperature plasma, high-energy-density laboratory plasma, plasma-material interaction, magnetic confinement fusion, inertial confinement fusion, and future fusion power plants for inertial fusion energy and magnetic fusion energy,” Regan said. “This report will give the DOE insights that could inform future funding opportunity announcements.” 

For more information, visit the workshop website.

About FES

The FES program mission is to expand the fundamental understanding of plasma at very high temperatures and densities and to build the scientific foundation needed to develop a fusion energy source. In addition to fusion energy R&D, FES supports the development of the science for other applications of plasmas with high societal impact, such as low-temperature plasmas for microelectronics, general plasma science and high-energy-density laboratory plasmas


PPPL is mastering the art of using plasma — the fourth state of matter — to solve some of the world's toughest science and technology challenges. Nestled on Princeton University’s Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, New Jersey, our research ignites innovation in a range of applications including fusion energy, nanoscale fabrication, quantum materials and devices, and sustainability science. The University manages the Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the nation’s single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences. Feel the heat at https://energy.gov/science and https://www.pppl.gov.