DC electrical breakdown in a metal pin-water electrode system

Peter Bruggeman, Joost Van Slycken, Joris Degroote, Jan Vierendeels, Patricia Verleysen, Christophe Leys

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42 Scopus citations


Electrical breakdown between a metal pin and a water-surface electrode is studied in this paper. The physics of discharges in this electrode geometry are still largely unknown, particularly the breakdown mechanism. Images of the sparks are presented, and the different features are discussed. The formation of a Taylor cone prior to breakdown is studied, and no significant polarity dependence is observed. When the water-surface deformation is small, a glow-to-spark transition is observed when the pin is cathode. When the metal pin is anode, a streamer-to-spark-like transition occurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1138-1139
Number of pages2
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number4 PART 1
StatePublished - Aug 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received October 19, 2007; revised January 7, 2008. The works of P. Bruggeman and J. Degroote were supported by a Ph.D. fellowship of the Research Foundation—Flanders (FWO Vlaanderen). P. Bruggeman and C. Leys are with the Department of Applied Physics, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. J. Van Slycken and P. Verleysen are with the Department of Mechanical Construction and Production, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. J. Degroote and J. Vierendeels are with the Department of Flow, Heat, and Combustion Mechanics, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPS.2008.917294 Fig. 1. Comparison of the water-surface stability limit with the breakdown voltage as a function of the initial interelectrode distance. Right bottom corner: The temporal development of the Taylor-cone formation for an initial interelectrode distance of 5 mm.


  • Atmospheric pressure discharge
  • Discharges
  • Distance measurement
  • Electric breakdown
  • Electrical breakdown
  • Electrodes
  • Liquid electrode
  • Metals
  • Plasmas
  • Spark
  • Sparks


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