insufficient texts on collisional plasmas and plasma processing. These deficiencies are a direct result of low-level funding for graduate research in plasma processing and low-energy plasmas.
Finding and Conclusion: The most serious need in undergraduate education is adequate, modern teaching laboratories. Due to the largely empirical nature of many aspects of plasma processing, proper training in the traditional scientific method, as provided in laboratory classes, is a necessary component of undergraduate education. The Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement Program sponsored by the National Science Foundation has been partly successful in fulfilling these needs, but it is not sufficient.
Finding and Conclusion: Research experiences for undergraduates made available through industrial cooperative programs or internships are essential for high-quality technical education. But teachers and professors themselves must first be educated in low-energy plasma science and plasma processing before they can be expected to educate students. Industrial-university links can also help to impart a much needed, longer-term view to industrial research efforts.
Accordingly, the panel recommends:
As part of the Plasma Processing Program, government and industry together should support cooperative programs specific to plasma processing with universities and national laboratories.
A program should be established to provide industrial internships for teachers and professors in the area of plasma processing.