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Foundations of atmospheric pressure non-equilibrium plasmas

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journal contribution
posted on 24.11.2017 by Peter Bruggeman, Felipe Iza, Ronny Brandenburg
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 nonequilibrium 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.


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 Loughborough 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).



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

Plasma Sources Science and Technology


BRUGGEMAN, P., IZA, F. and BRANDENBURG, R., 2017. Foundations of atmospheric pressure non-equilibrium plasmas. Plasma Sources Science and Technology, 26 (12), 123002.


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This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in Plasma Sources Science and Technology. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at