Foundations of atmospheric pressure non-equilibrium plasmas

Peter J. Bruggeman, Felipe Iza, Ronny Brandenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Non-equilibrium plasmas have been intensively studied over the past century in the context of material processing, environmental remediation, ozone generation, excimer lamps and plasma display panels. Research on atmospheric pressure non-equilibrium plasmas intensified over the last two decades leading to a large variety of plasma sources that have been developed for an extended application range including chemical conversion, medicine, chemical analysis and disinfection. The fundamental understanding of these discharges is emerging but there remain a lot of unexplained phenomena in these intrinsically complex plasmas. The properties of non-equilibrium plasmas at atmospheric pressure span over a huge range of electron densities as well as heavy particle and electron temperatures. This paper provides an overview of the key underlying processes that are important for the generation and stabilization of atmospheric pressure non-equilibrium plasmas. The unique physical and chemical properties of theses discharges are also summarized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number123002
JournalPlasma Sources Science and Technology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 22 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
PJB acknowledges the support of the Center on Control of Plasma Kinetics of the United States Department of Energy Office of Fusion Energy Science (DE-SC0001319), the National Science Foundation (PHY 1500135) and a Department of Energy Early Career Research Award (DE- SC0016053). FI acknowledges the support of the Loughbor-ough University Center for doctoral training on Gas Plasma Interactions with Organic Liquids and the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/I032193/1). RBr acknowledges the support of the German Research Foundation (DFG, Grant BR 4133/4-1).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • atmospheric pressure plasmas
  • discharge generation
  • non-equilibrium plasmas
  • plasma instabilities
  • plasma properties


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