I work in a field where understanding interactions between plasmas and metals for the purpose of generating a particular reaction is important. However, I know very little about plasma assisted chemistry or plasma assisted deposition.
Actually, the field I work in knows surprisingly little about the plasmas that allow them to do what they do. Most of the people in the field just know "make plasma -> get surface reaction." There has been research performed, but there has been such varied results that no consensus has been made. The primary question they are trying to answer is, "which part(s) of the plasma (i.e. which species or energy level of a particular species) is the active part allowing the reaction to occur).
Aside from simple reaction kinetics, I would be interested in how things like latice parameters/spacing would be affected. I otherwise have introductory level understanding of chemistry but still a much better one (in my opinion) than the majority of other engineers aside from chemical engineers.
What are the minimum viable learning requirements to get non-expert but better than cursory understanding? I am a Mechanical Engineer (PhD) with some experience in a quantum mechanics course (grad level course) and statistical mechanics (grad level course). I have some basic understanding of plasmas and atomic energy levels (not necessarily molecular energy levels), but otherwise no nothing about the physics themselves. I know nothing about how to apply quantum mechanics to chemistry at this point in time.
Where should I start, so I can at least begin to understand the chemistry and physics?
Are there suggested books?