Richard R. Mett, PhD
Adjunct Associate Professor
Department of Biophysics
Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509
Dr. Mett's interests in electromagnetic waves and the interaction of radio frequency (rf) radiation with matter go back to his days in high school. As an undergraduate student, he pursued these interests and was awarded a Magnetic Fusion Energy Technology Fellowship by the U.S. Department of Energy to study for two years in the graduate school of the University of California-Berkeley. He received a Masters of Science degree in 1985 and a PhD degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990. Both degrees are in electrical engineering, specializing in the field of plasma physics.
Dr. Mett's doctoral dissertation focused on driving direct electrical currents in plasmas using circularly polarized low frequency electromagnetic (Alfvén) waves. As a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Fusion Studies in Austin, Texas, he researched the absorption of toroidicity-induced Alfvén waves in a tokamak plasma. This work contributed to the understanding of a burning fusion plasma. He continued this work at General Atomics in San Diego, California. In 1995, Dr. Mett became a scientist in the Dielectric Etch Division of Applied Materials in Santa Clara, California, where he solved many problems related to high DC and rf voltages and low pressure gases, efficient application of relatively high rf power to plasmas, electrostatic chucking of wafers, and plasma uniformity. His work there resulted in ten U.S. patents.
In late 1998, Dr. Mett accepted a teaching position in the physics department at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), where he currently teaches courses in electric and magnetic fields and modern physics. In 2000, he joined the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) part-time as a scientist specializing in microwaves and EPR.
Since 2001, Dr. Mett has taught about half-time at MSOE and has done EPR research about half-time at MCW. His research at MCW has resulted in five publications. The subjects of these publications include the discovery of how to make a microwave cavity with an additional axis of spatial uniformity, and the discovery of a way of increasing the EPR signal strength by almost an order of magnitude through sample partitioning and unconventional orientation and placement. In his work at MCW, he enjoys an intense collaboration with Dr. Hyde and makes extensive use of finite-element electromagnetic computer modeling.