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Current Efforts

Current efforts include the surface breakdown properties of plastics and the total or partial sterilization of bacteria in food and beverage products.

The Nevada Shocker is a moderated sized pulsed power machine used in supportof the flashover studies on plastics. Housed in the College of Engineering, the Nevada Shocker based on Marx Bank and Blumlein technologies generates up to 540 kV, 60 kA in a 50 ns pulse. Typically the diode end (experimental end) of the device is in a 1x10 -6 Torr vacuum. State-of-the-art equipment is used in support of experiments performed on the pulsed power machine. The Nevada Shocker became operational in January 2003. The first photographed picture, displaying breakdown on the Nevada Shocker, is shown in Figure 1. The plastic piece is located between the two black lines and the two white lines in the region of the purple glow. The ionized gas (plasma) created in the discharge between the high voltage electrodes light generate the purple glow.

The first photographed picture, displaying breakdown on the Nevada Shocker.

A Gaussian shaped 3.2 kV, 800 ms FWHM pulsed source was developed in the Electromagnetics (EM) Laboratory at UNLV in support of the sterilization of bacteria in beverages seeded with E. coli bacteria. Figure 2 shows Petri dishes of cultured grown E. coli samples taken prior to (right) and after (left) being exposed to the pulsed signal. The dark regions in the Petri dishes are E. coli colonies. Compared to control samples (right), the pulsed power device successfully ameliorates bacteria in the beverage.

 

Compared to control samples (right), the pulsed power device successfully ameliorates bacteria in the beverage.

 

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Nevada Shocker

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Last Updated: 8/4/05 1:54 PM