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Experimental and theoretical studies of atmospheric glow discharges

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posted on 09.02.2011, 11:37 by J.J. Shi
This thesis presents the experimental and theoretical studies of nonthermal and stable atmospheric-pressure glow discharges. With the excitation frequency in the kilohertz range, a uniform and stable glow discharge has been successfully produced in atmospheric helium without the usually indispensable dielectric barrier. For this barrier-free cold atmospheric discharge, there are two discharge events occurring, respectively, in the voltage-rising and the voltage-falling phases, and in general they compete with each other. This distinct feature is illustrated through a detailed fluid simulation. For direct current atmospheric glow discharges, their cathode fall region is shown to depend critically on the discharge current density. For atmospheric glow discharges excited at 13.56 MHz on the other hand, we present observations that after gas breakdown, the discharge evolves from the normal glow mode to the abnormal glow mode and then through the recovery mode back to the normal glow mode. The operation modes, namely the a mode and the y mode, in radio-frequency atmospheric glow discharges are investigated with a one-dimensional, self-consistent continuum model. This model is evaluated by comparing our numerical results with experimental data and other simulation results in literature. It is shown that gas ionization is volumetric in the a mode and localized in the boundary region between the sheath and the bulk plasma in the y mode. The stable operation regime in the a mode is found to have a positive differential conductivity, and can be expanded to higher discharge current density without compensating plasma reactivity by increasing the excitation frequency. Furthermore this plasma stability-reactivity balance is also studied for radio-frequency atmospheric glow microdischarges.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Jianjun Shi

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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