Ps four-wave mixing measurements of electric field in a ns pulse discharge in a hydrogen diffusion flame

M. Simeni Simeni, E. Baratte, Y. C. Hung, K. Frederickson, I. V. Adamovich

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7 Scopus citations


Time-resolved electric field in ns pulse discharge plasmas generated in room air and in an atmospheric pressure hydrogen diffusion flame has been measured by ps four-wave mixing, for plane-to-plane electrode geometry. Electric field is put on the absolute scale using the Laplacian field measured before breakdown. The results show that peak electric field during breakdown in the flame, approximately 40?kV/cm, is significantly lower compared to that in room air, 75?kV/cm, due to higher temperature of combustion products. In both cases, peak electric field is higher compared to DC breakdown field. Both in air and in the flame, the electric field follows the applied voltage before breakdown and decreases rapidly after breakdown, due to charge separation and plasma self-shielding. The electric field in air is compared with the predictions of an analytic model of ns pulse breakdown, showing good agreement between the predicted and the measured breakdown field. The model also predicts earlier breakdown as well as breakdown voltage reduction as the temperature is increased, in qualitative agreement with the experimental data. The use of the present ps four-wave mixing diagnostics for measurements of electric fields below ?20?kV/cm in atmospheric pressure flames is challenging, due to low signal-to-noise. The sensitivity of the present diagnostics is controlled by the high temperature and low N 2 fraction in the combustion product mixture, as well as by the limited bandwidth of the Stokes beam generated by the stimulated Raman cell, which provides access only to several rotational levels of nitrogen molecules. The present diagnostics will have much better sensitivity in high-pressure flames, since the four-wave mixing signal scales as the squared number density of nitrogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1497-1504
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by US National Science Foundation project (Grant no. 1619563) “Fundamental Studies of Accelerated Low Temperature Combustion Kinetics by Nonequilibrium Plasmas” and by US Department of Energy (Grant no. DE-NA0002374) “Center for Exascale Simulation of Plasma-Coupled Combustion”.


  • Diffusion flame
  • Electric field
  • Nanosecond pulse discharge
  • Plasma assisted combustion
  • Ps four-wave mixing


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