Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Instituto de Física




Mario Favre Domínguez

Casilla 306
Santiago 22 Chile

Fono: +56 (2) 2354 4472
FAX: +56 (2) 2553 64 68



Academic Position:

Professor of Physics


Primary and Secondary Education, Liceo de Hombres de Cauquenes (today, Liceo Antonio Varas)
Licenciado en Física (B.Sc.), Pontificia Universidad Cátolica (UC.) de Chile, 1980
Ph.D., Physics, Imperial College, London, U. K., 1985

Thesis: ”Experimental Investigations of the Gas-embedded Z-pinch"


Presidential Fellowship for doctoral studies: 1982-1985
Third World Academy of Science Fellowship: 1990
Marie-Curie Fellowship: 1993-1994

Distinguished Former Student, Liceo Antonio Varas, August 2009

Professional experience

Teaching Instructor, U.C. de Chile, 1980-1985
Teaching Instructor, Universidad de Chile, 1980-1981
Research Assistant, The Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, 1985
Assistant Professor, U.C. de Chile, 1986-1987
Associated Professor, U.C. de Chile, 1988 - 1999
Full Professor, U.C. de Chile, 2000 to date
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Physics Faculty, U.C. de Chile, 1988-1989, 1991 – 2002

Director of Physics Department, 2003-2010

Faculty Representative to the University Superior Council, 2009-2010.

Director of Academic Development, University Vice-presidency of Academic Affairs, 2010-2015

Other Appointments

Visiting Scientist, Centro de Investigaciones Opticas, La Plata, Argentina, March 1987
Academic Visitor, Physics Department, University of Malaya, Malaysia, January-February, 1990 (Third World Academy of Science Fellowship)
Visiting Professor, Physics Department, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 1991
Academic Visitor, The Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, U.K., September 1993-March 1994 (Marie Curie Fellowship)
Visiting Scientist, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, France, June 1995.
Visiting Scientist, Ecole Polytechnique, France, 1996 to 2001, one month visit per year
Visiting Scientist, Ecole Polytechnique, X-Technologies, France, June-October 2002
Consultant, Tecnología Integral S.A., 1989-1992
Consultant, Corporación Educacional de la Construcción, 1998-2000
Consultant, EPPRA sas, France, November 2002 - February 2003
Member of the Board, Chilean Physical Society, 1989-1992
Member of the Board, Latin American Center for Physics (CLAF), 2002-2005


Member of the UC Plasma Physics Group
Principal Investigator (PI) in eleven research projects funded by FONDECYT (Chilean National Research Council) in period 1987 - 2016
Associated Investigator in nine research projects funded by FONDECYT (Chilean Research Council) in period 1988 - 2015
PI in AIEA research grant, 1989
PI of annual collaboration projects  CNRS (France)/CONICYT (Chile), in period 1996-2002

Research Interests

Dense Z-pinch: investigations of the stability properties of the gas-embedded Z-pinch.  Studies of plasma dynamics in the vacuum spark.  Investigation of hot-spot formation, pinch dynamics and ion beam emission in the plasma focus, investigations of plasma dynamics in wire array discharges relevant to Laboratory Astrophysics.

Laser produced Plasmas: investigations of laser plasma dynamics in neutral gas background.
Transient hollow cathode discharges: experimental studies of breakdown formation and hollow cathode region processes.
Capillary Discharge: experimental studies of discharge initiation, short XUV radiation pulse generation, plasma jets emission and hollow cathode effects in transient capillary discharges.
Pulsed Power: design and construction of pulse power generators for the production of dense transient plasmas.
Applied Optics: optical techniques for the diagnostics of transient plasmas. Generation of nanosecond XUV radiation pulses.
Plasma Applications to Materials Science: applications of laser, RF and DC glow plasmas to material sciences.

Publication List by Subject


Conference Proceedings edited

A.I.P. Conf. Proc. 563, IX Latin American Conference in Plasma Physics, Eds. H. Chuaqui and M. Favre (2000)

Thesis Guided

Licenciatura (B.Sc. equivalent):

A. M. Leñero, "Design and characterization of a soft X-ray source based on laser produced plasma", 1988.

L. Soto, "A multi-frame system for interferometry of transient plasmas", 1988.

J. Moreno, "Experimental studies in a transient hollow cathode discharge", 1992.

F. Castillo, "Hollow cathode effects in ionization growth in pulsed capillary discharges", 2001.

K. Kauffmann, "Computer simulations of RF plasmas", 2005.

F. Guzmán, "Experiments with ion beams in plasma focus discharges", 2007.

H.M. Ruiz, "Experiments with plasma jets in pulsed capillary discharges", 2007.

J. Cancino, “Optical Diagnostics in laser produced plasmas” (Co-guided), 2012.

V. Landaeta, “Optical diagnostics of the plasma dynamics in laser produced plasmas” (Co-guided), 2013.

F. Merello, “Preliminary results on TiN coatings on titanium, obtained with Plasma Immersion Ion Implantation, evaluated for biocompatibility”, 2013.


L. S. Caballero, "Experimental studies on plasma jets in pulsed capillary discharges", 2004.

Ph. D.:

J. Moreno, "Experimental studies of ionization processes in the pre-breakdown phase of a transient hollow cathode discharge", 2000.

P. Silva, "Experimental studies of hot-spots formation in plasma focus operating with Argon-Hydrogen mixtures", 2001

G. Avaria, "Experimental Characterization of a Pulsed Capillary Discharge", 2008

E. Valderrama, “Radio frequency plasmas: one diagnostics and two techniques to produce DLC with and without nano/micro-structured content”, 2009.

H. M. Ruiz: “Time and space resolved characterization of a carbon laser produced plasma in neutral argon background”, 2012.

F. Guzmán: “Formation of nanostructures coatings using laser produced plasma”, 2013.



Thermodynamics (Engineering Undergraduates)
Physics for Bio-Medical Sciences (Medicine Undergraduates)
Waves and Optics (Physics and Astronomy undergraduates)
Modern Physics (Physics and Astronomy Undergraduates)

Plasma Physics (Physics Undergraduates)

Classical Optics (Physics Postgraduates)
Atomic and Molecular Physics (Physics Postgraduates)
Plasma Diagnostics (Physics Postgraduates)
Physics of Electric Discharges (Physics Postgraduates)



R. Benguria, M. C. Depassier, M. Favre. " Problemas resueltos de Electricidad y Magnetismo", Ediciones UC (1998)
M. Favre, J. C. García-Huidobro, M. C. Manterola, "Problemas resueltos de Ondas, Calor y Optica", Ediciones UC (2005)

P. Olmos, M. Favre, F. Barrientos, "Física para Ciencias Médicas", Ediciones UC (2008)