Research Lab Bench

Richard R. Mett, PhD

Professor, Physics and Chemistry, Milwaukee School of Engineering; RF Engineer, National Biomedical EPR Center


  • Biophysics
    MFRC 2044

Contact Information

Research Interests

My interest in electromagnetic waves and the interaction of radio frequency (rf) radiation with matter go back to my high school days. As an undergraduate student, I pursued these interests and was awarded a Magnetic Fusion Energy Technology Fellowship by the US Department of Energy to study for two years in the graduate school of the University of California-Berkeley. I received my Masters of Science degree in 1985 and my PhD degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990. Both degrees are in electrical engineering, specializing in the field of plasma physics.

My 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, I researched the absorption of toroidicity-induced Alfvén waves in a tokamak plasma. This work contributed to the understanding of a burning fusion plasma. I continued this work at General Atomics in San Diego, California. In 1995, I became a scientist in the Dielectric Etch Division of Applied Materials in Santa Clara, California, where I 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. My work there resulted in 10 US patents.

In late 1998, I accepted a teaching position in the physics department at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), where I currently teaches courses in electric and magnetic fields and modern physics. In 2000, I joined MCW part-time as a scientist specializing in microwaves and EPR.

Since 2001, I have spent about half of my time teaching at MSOE and half of my time doing EPR research at MCW. My research at MCW has resulted in various publications, the subjects of which 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 my work at MCW, I collaborate with Dr. Hyde and make use of finite-element electromagnetic computer modeling.