Welcome to the Pulsed Power Plasmas Group

The Pulsed Power Plasmas Group make uses of experimental facilities both on and off campus to investigate the application of pulsed power generated plasmas in basic plasma science, laboratory astrophysics, High Energy Density science and Inertial Confinement fusion.


The group also has access to 3-dimensional resisitive MHD and kinetic codes, which are continually benchmarked to the experiments. This close co-ordination allows more accurate design and interpretation of the experimental programs.



The group is led by Dr Simon Bott-Suzuki, and is part of the UCSD Center for Energy Research. A summary of current research projects can be found on the Projects page.


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UCSD Undergraduate Tobias Oliver wins the 2019-20 Physical Sciences Dean's Undergraduate Award for Excellence for research work with P3 group

P³ Group received funding from Sandia National Laboratories to investigate liner breakdown for fusion research

P³ Group publishes work on hydrodynamic bow-shock formation in Phys. Plasmas (click for paper)

Plasmas generated using pulsed power

The plasmas we study are generated by rapidly heating solid metals or gases using short pulses of electricity. This is typically achieved using individual capacitors or capacitor banks charged to 10s of kilo-volts (kV) to give electrical pulses from 100ns to 1us in duration. These pulses can drive 50 kilo-amperes (kA) to several mega-amperes (MA) of current into the load.


Through ohmic heating, the load (often a thin metal wire or cylinder) goes through rapid melting and boiling. It is eventually hot enough (~100,000 C) for electrons to be removed from the resulting gas. This plasma can be directed using the magnetic fields generated by the current in various ways to allow us to study different topics


P³ Group publishes work on co-axial breakdown experiments in Rev. Sci. Insrument. (click for paper)

P³ Group joins Cornell Center

The Group joins the NNSA sponsored "Center for Pulse Power-driven High Energy Density Plasmas" led by Cornell University (details)

Our sponsors
Current Projects
  • Hydrodynamic and Magnatized Shock Formation in Radiatively-cooled Plasma Flows


  • Experimental, simulations and observational study of YSO jets formation and propagation


  • A range of z-pinch driven High Energy Density physics investigations through the Cornell NNSA Center

  • Current initaition in metal liners for fusion energy


  • Analysis of laser-produced plasmas for EUV generation​

Details of all our projects are avaiable through the Projects page, or by contacting Dr Simon Bott-Suzuki (see below)

Contact Us

Dr. Simon Bott-Suzuki

Center for Energy Research

U.C. San Diego 

9500 Gilman Drive #0417

La Jolla, CA 92093-0417


Tel: 858-822-3828
Fax: 858-534-7716