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Author(s): Johannes Gruenwald and D Levko

Inverted fireballs have been proven to be a viable tool for large area surface modifications and for a direct conversion from a DC input signal to an RF output signal. Their suitability for surface modifications in general and for deposition technologies in particular is owed to their very homogeneous plasma potential and their high charge densities. This talk will outline theoretical investigations into inverted fireballs, such as analytical models and particle-in-cell simulations and the application of these findings to technologically relevant topics. Recent findings that describe in detail how these plasma phenomena can be utilized will be shown. Furthermore, it will be demonstrated that inverted FBs exhibit a number of plasma instabilities, but they can be stabilized over a long period of time, which is necessary for their utilization in the industry. It will also be outlined in this talk where the borders of fireball research are at the moment and what needs to be done in order to gain a deeper scientific understanding in the future.