Experiments and simulations of DC and pulsed discharges in air plasmas

Manoj Nagulapally, Graham V. Candler, Christophe O. Laux, Lan Yu, Denis Packan, Charles H. Kruger, Robert Stark, Karl H. Schoenbach

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Experiments were conducted with atmospheric air plasmas at temperatures around 2000 K in order to increase the electron number density to approximately 1013 cm-3 by means of an applied DC discharge and an electric pulse in parallel to the DC discharge. The DC discharge produces a stable region of elevated electron number density, in agreement with two-temperature kinetics calculations. In the pulsed experiments at the end of the 10 ns pulse, the ionization level was measured to be about 1013 electrons/cm3. Following the pulse, the electron number density decreased to 1012cm-3 in approximately 12μs, in good agreement with the chemical kinetics model. This result suggests that elevated electron number densities of the order of 1013cm-3 can be maintained in low temperature air plasmas by means of repetitively pulsed discharges. In this paper, we present results of the DC and pulsed experiments, as well as two-dimensional CFD simulations of the DC experiments. The computational model uses the Stanford two-temperature chemical kinetics model for the plasma, as well as finite-rate models for vibration-electronic energy relaxation and electron translational energy relaxation. The computational results are in good agreement with the measured electron concentration, temperatures, and cathode fall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2000
Event31st Plasmadynamics and Lasers Conference 2000 - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: Jun 19 2000Jun 22 2000


Other31st Plasmadynamics and Lasers Conference 2000
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityDenver, CO


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