Logo: University of Southern California

Martin Gundersen

Martin A. Gundersen, Ph.D. - Professor of Electrical Engineering, Physics and Astronomy
Research Interests:

Research activities are in applied plasma science with applications to combustion, pollution control, and pulsed power; quantum electronics, semiconductor devices and physics, and biophysics. Current interests include applications of pulsed power to biological cells, and investigation of cellular responses to pulsed electrical fields. Plasma research includes the transient plasma devices for treatment of polluting gases including NOx emissions from diesel engines, VOC emissions abatement, and applications to power plants, gasoline engines and other sources. The work combines research and development of both plasmas and advanced pulsed power technology, and study of underlying physical mechanisms responsible for plasma chemistry. Research is investigating the application of transient plasmas to ignition for a variety of combustion applications. Gas phase switch research includes optical diagnostic methods for high current discharges, laser induced fluorescence, theory and experiment in developing quantitative models of processes in high power thyratrons. Results for high power switching include the development of a new high power glow discharge switch, the back-lighted thyratron, which can operate at voltages >= 100 kV, peak currents > 50 kA. Semiconductor switch research for pulsed power applications includes investigation of basic physics problems related to high power devices, and fabrication of GaAs switches. Research in semiconductor physics includes development of a model for phonon sideband structure that appears in radiative recombination. Work in quantum electronics includes research and development of optically pumped and other lasers, investigation of new lasing mechanisms, and the development of powerful single mode IR lasers. Dr. Gundersen was technical advisor to Tristar Pictures during production of the motion picture Real Genius and appeared in a bit role, The Lost World, and Congo, several television productions, and has worked with the American Film Institute on workshops for science fiction writers for television and motion pictures.

Biographical Information:

Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, 1972, USC, Los Angeles, CA.. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics and Astronomy, Chair of the Electrical Engineering Electrophysics Department and Co-Chair of Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California. He has been a Visiting Professor at UCLA (1986-87). Visiting Scientist at MIT (1986-1987 and 1989), Visiting Scientist, C.E.R.N. (1987), and Visiting Associate at Caltech (1993-94). His research interests include pulsed power science and technology, applied plasma physics, lasers, and research into plasma devices including corona devices for pollution remediation. He has published over 200 technical papers and holds several patents. Dr. Gundersen is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and winner of the 2000 Germeshausen Award of the IEEE Power Modulator Symposium. He has served as Chair of the Topical Meeting on IR Lasers (Dec. 1980), Power Conditioning Workshop (Dec. 1985), Director, NATO Advance Research Workshop on Physics and Applications of Hollow Electrode Glow Switches, Lillehammer Norway, July 1989, Technical Program Chairman, IEEE Power Modulator Symposium, 1990 and 1998, Technical Co-Chair, 1993 Workshop on Commercial Applications for Pulsed Power, Chair, High Voltage Workshop, 2000, and Chair of the Executive Committee for the 2002 Power Modulator Conference and High Voltage Workshop.
Research Areas: