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Main species and chemical pathways in cold atmospheric-pressure Ar+H2O plasmas

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posted on 14.02.2017, 15:10 by Ding-Xin Liu, Bowen Sun, Felipe IzaFelipe Iza, Dehui Xu, Xiao-Hua Wang, Ming-Zhe Rong, Michael G. Kong
Cold atmospheric-pressure plasmas in Ar+H2O gas mixtures are a promising alternative to He+H2O plasmas as both can produce reactive oxygen species of relevance for many applications and argon is cheaper than helium. Although He+H2O plasmas have been subject of multiple experimental and computational studies, Ar+H2O plasmas have received less attention. In this work we investigate the composition and chemical pathways in Ar+H2O plasmas by means of a global model that incorporates 57 species and 1228 chemical reactions. Water vapor concentrations from 1 ppm to saturation (32000 ppm) are considered in the study and abrupt transitions in power dissipation channels, species densities and chemical pathways are found when the water concentration increases from 100 to 1000 ppm. In this region the plasma transitions from an electropositive discharge in which most power is coupled to electrons into an electronegative one in which most power is coupled to ions. While increasing electronegativity is also observed in He+H2O plasmas, in Ar+H2O plasmas the transition is more abrupt because Penning processes do not contribute to gas ionization and the changes in the electron energy distribution function and mean electron energy caused by the increasing water concentration result in electron-neutral excitation and ionization rates changing by many orders of magnitude in a relatively small range of water concentrations. Insights into the main chemical species and pathways governing the production and loss of electrons, O, OH, OH(A) and H2O2 are provided as part of the study.


This work was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51307134 and 51561065), the State Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and Power Equipment (No. EIPE14123), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

Plasma Sources Science and Technology


LIU, D-X. al., 2017. Main species and chemical pathways in cold atmospheric-pressure Ar+H2O plasmas. Plasma Sources Science and Technology, 26 (4), 045008.


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