The breakdown process in an atmospheric pressure nanosecond parallel-plate helium/argon mixture discharge

Bang Dou Huang, Keisuke Takashima, Xi Ming Zhu, Yi Kang Pu

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The breakdown process in an atmospheric pressure nanosecond helium/argon mixture discharge with parallel-plate electrodes is investigated by temporally and spatially resolved optical emission spectroscopy (OES). The spatially resolved electric field is obtained from the Stark splitting of the He i 492.1 nm line. Using the emissions from the He ii 468.6 nm, He i 667.8 nm, and Ar i 750.4 nm lines and a collisional-radiative model, the spatially resolved T e, high and T e, low (representing the effective T e in the high energy and low energy part of the EEDF, respectively) are obtained. It is found that, compared with the average electric field provided by the external pulser, the electric field is greatly enhanced at certain location and is significantly weakened at other places. This observation shows the effect of the ionization wave propagation, as predicted in [1, 2]. The value of T e, high is much larger than that of T e, low, which indicates that an elevated high energy tail in the EEDF is built up under the influence of strong electric field during the breakdown process. Initially, the spatial distribution of the T e, low and the T e, high generally follows that of the electric field. However, at the end of the breakdown period, the location of the highest T e, low and T e, high is shifted away from the cathode sheath, where the electric field is strongest. This indicates the existence of a non-local effect and is supported by the result from a simple Monte-Carlo simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045202
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 29


  • EEDF
  • OES
  • electric field
  • nanosecond discharge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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