Modeling non-equilibrium discharge and validating transient plasma characteristics at above-atmospheric pressure

Riccardo Scarcelli, Thomas Wallner, Sibendu Som, Sayan Biswas, Isaac Ekoto, Douglas Breden, Anand Karpatne, Laxminarayan L. Raja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Non-equilibrium plasma generated from positive-pulsed nanosecond electrical discharges into desiccated air is simulated in this paper using a multi-dimensional, multi-physics plasma solver. A pin-to-pin electrode configuration is used with a fixed 5.2 mm gap spacing. Peak pulse voltages range between 10.2 and 22.5 kV. Care is taken to match the exact electrode profile from the experiments, and adjust the electron collision frequency so that breakdown limits closely match those from corresponding experimental results. The optimized numerical simulations predict qualitative streamer structure that is in close agreement with experimental observations. Quantitative measurements of atomic oxygen at the anode tip and qualitative estimates of streamer gas heating are closely matched by simulations. The model results are used to provide insight into the spatial and temporal development of the transient plasma. The work performed in this paper delivers a numerical tool that can be extremely useful to link the post-discharge plasma properties to low-temperature plasma ignition mechanisms that are of great interest for the automotive industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number124006
JournalPlasma Sources Science and Technology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 28 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The submitted manuscript has been created by UChicago Argonne, LLC, Operator of Argonne National Laboratory (‘Argonne’). Argonne, a US Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory, is operated under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. The US Government retains for itself, and others acting on its behalf, a paid-up nonexclusive, irrevocable worldwide license in said article to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies to the public, and perform publicly and display publicly, by or on behalf of the Government.

Funding Information:
This research is funded by DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Program, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The authors would like to express their gratitude to Gurpreet Singh, Mike Weismiller, and Leo Breton (retired), program managers at DOE, for their support. Numerical simulations were run on the Bebop Cluster at the LCRC facility, Argonne National Laboratory.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • multi-dimensional modeling
  • non-equilibrium plasma
  • plasma assisted ignition


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