Electron density and electron temperature measurements in nanosecond pulse discharges over liquid water surface

M. Simeni Simeni, A. Roettgen, V. Petrishchev, K. Frederickson, I. V. Adamovich

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Time-resolved electron density, electron temperature, and gas temperature in nanosecond pulse discharges in helium and O2-He mixtures near liquid water surface are measured using Thomson/pure rotational Raman scattering, in two different geometries, (a) 'diffuse filament' discharge between a spherical high-voltage electrode and a grounded pin electrode placed in a reservoir filled with distilled water, with the tip exposed, and (b) dielectric barrier discharge between the high-voltage electrode and the liquid water surface. A diffuse plasma filament generated between the electrodes in helium during the primary discharge pulse exhibits noticeable constriction during the secondary discharge pulse several hundred ns later. Adding oxygen to the mixture reduces the plasma filament diameter and enhances constriction during the secondary pulse. In the dielectric barrier discharge, diffuse volumetric plasma occupies nearly the entire space between the high voltage electrode and the liquid surface, and extends radially along the surface. In the filament discharge in helium, adding water to the container results in considerable reduction of plasma lifetime compared to the discharge in dry helium, by about an order of magnitude, indicating rapid electron recombination with water cluster ions. Peak electron density during the pulse is also reduced, by about a factor of two, likely due to dissociative attachment to water vapor during the discharge pulse. These trends become more pronounced as oxygen is added to the mixture, which increases net rate of dissociative attachment. Gas temperature during the primary discharge pulse remains near room temperature, after which it increases up to T ∼ 500 K over 5 μs and decays back to near room temperature before the next discharge pulse several tens of ms later. As expected, electron density and electron temperature in diffuse DBD plasmas are considerably lower compared to peak values in the filament discharge. Use of Thomson scattering for measurements of electron density and electron temperature in near-surface plasmas is hindered by strong light scattering off the surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number064005
JournalPlasma Sources Science and Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 18 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has been supported by the US DOE Low Temperature Plasma Science Center. We would also like to thank Prof Nickolay Aleksandrov from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, for a very helpful discussion of recombination of water cluster ions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • Thomson scattering
  • electron density
  • nanosecond pulse discharges
  • plasmas over liquids


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