Plasma Physics

Name Email Phone Room
Vyacheslav (Slava)  Lukin (703) 292-7382   


Apply to PD 18-1242 as follows:

For full proposals submitted via FastLane: standard NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide proposal preparation guidelines apply.
For full proposals submitted via the NSF Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Guidelines applies. (Note: The NSF Application Guide is available on the website and on the NSF website at:

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after June 1, 2020. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 20-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


All proposals in the area of Plasma Physics submitted to the Physics Division that are not governed by another solicitation (such as CAREER), and do not request midscale instrumentation or constitute a long-duration effort, must be submitted to the NSF/DOE Partnership in Basic Plasma Science and Engineering solicitation.  Principal Investigators intending to submit a proposal requesting midscale instrumentation, initiating, or continuing a long-duration effort as defined in the Division-wide solicitation: Division of Physics: Investigator-Initiated Research Projects, should contact the above Program Director prior to proposal submission.


Plasma Physics is a study of matter and physical systems whose intrinsic properties are governed by collective interactions of large ensembles of free charged particles. 99.9% of the visible Universe is thought to consist of plasmas. The underlying physics of the collective behavior in plasmas has applications to space physics and astrophysics, materials science, applied mathematics, fusion science, accelerator science, and many branches of engineering.

The Plasma Physics program supports research that can be categorized by several broad, sometimes overlapping, sub-areas of the discipline, including: magnetized plasmas in the laboratory, space, and astrophysical environments; high energy density plasmas; low temperature plasmas; dusty, ultra-cold, and otherwise strongly coupled plasmas; non-neutral plasmas; and intense field-matter interaction in plasmas.  The focus of the Plasma Physics program is to generate an understanding of the fundamental principles governing the physical behavior of a plasma via collective interactions of large ensembles of free charged particles, as well as to improve the basic understanding of the plasma state as needed for other areas or disciplines of science and engineering.

NSF recognizes that some research projects within this Program may require more than three years to realize demonstrable research outcomes. For such projects, PIs are encouraged to consult the above Program Director to discuss the possibility of submitting a proposal of 4 or 5 year duration.

Some Plasma Physics-related activities are supported primarily by other NSF Programs. Proposals focused on the physical properties of individual or a small number of atoms or molecules, or optical physics, should be directed to the Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics Program within the Division of Physics.  Proposals focused on understanding astrophysical systems should be directed to the Division of Astronomical Sciences.  Proposals focused on understanding the Geospace environment or the Sun-Earth interactions should be directed to an appropriate program within the Geospace Section of the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences.  Proposals focused on development of new materials using plasmas should be directed to an appropriate program in the Division of Materials Research.  Proposal focused on plasma-assisted manufacturing should be directed to the Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation. Finally, proposals focused on use of plasmas for environmental and reaction engineering, environmental sustainability, combustion systems, or engineering of biomedical systems should be directed to an appropriate program within the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport systems.


All of these other programs coordinate the Plasma Physics aspects of their proposal portfolio with the Plasma Physics program. 



What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program