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Chen, Francis F.

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Francis ChenFrancis F. Chen, Professor Emeritus

APS Maxwell Prize, 1995
IEEE Plasma Award, 1994

Personal Website: Link

Office: 6532D Boelter Hall, Phone: 310.825.5624, Email



Professor Chen is a plasma physicist with a career extending over 58 years and encompassing both experiment and theory.  He has devoted about a decade each to the subfields of magnetic fusion, laser fusion, plasma diagnostics, basic plasma physics, and low-temperature plasma physics.  Most plasma students are familiar with his textbook Introduction to Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion.

Though formally retired since 1994, he still maintains an active lab and publishes journal articles and books.

Research Interests

Professor Chen’s interest in recent years has been the development of radiofrequency plasma sources for industrial applications, such as the etching of computer chips or roll-to-toll processing.  His specialty is the magnetized “helicon” source, for which he has invented a permanent-magnet version.  Currently he is applying this technology to spacecraft propulsion.  To learn more about this, please visit the site for UCLA’s Low Temperature Plasma Technology Laboratory (LTPTL).  This site also contains downloads of recent presentations and useful computational programs.

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2011 An Indispensable Truth, How Fusion Power Can Save the Planet: Outstanding Academic Title 2011 (CHOICE Magazine)
  • 2010 Fellow, AVS
  • 2009 AVS Plasma Prize
  • 2003 Life Fellow; 1980 Fellow, IEEE
  • 1999 Fellow, IOP (UK)
  • 1995 APS Maxwell Prize
  • 1994 IEEE Plasma Science Award
  • 1968 Fellow, APS


  • F. Chen, An Indispensable Truth, Springer, 2011


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