Transitions between corona, glow, and spark regimes of nanosecond repetitively pulsed discharges in air at atmospheric pressure

David Z. Pai, Deanna A. Lacoste, Christophe O. Laux

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181 Scopus citations

Abstract

In atmospheric pressure air preheated from 300 to 1000 K, the nanosecond repetitively pulsed (NRP) method has been used to generate corona, glow, and spark discharges. Experiments have been performed to determine the parameter space (applied voltage, pulse repetition frequency, ambient gas temperature, and interelectrode gap distance) of each discharge regime. In particular, the experimental conditions necessary for the glow regime of NRP discharges have been determined, with the notable result that there exists a minimum and maximum gap distance for its existence at a given ambient gas temperature. The minimum gap distance increases with decreasing gas temperature, whereas the maximum does not vary appreciably. To explain the experimental results, an analytical model is developed to explain the corona-to-glow (C-G) and glow-to-spark (G-S) transitions. The C-G transition is analyzed in terms of the avalanche-to- streamer transition and the breakdown field during the conduction phase following the establishment of a conducting channel across the discharge gap. The G-S transition is determined by the thermal ionization instability, and we show analytically that this transition occurs at a certain reduced electric field for the NRP discharges studied here. This model shows that the electrode geometry plays an important role in the existence of the NRP glow regime at a given gas temperature. We derive a criterion for the existence of the NRP glow regime as a function of the ambient gas temperature, pulse repetition frequency, electrode radius of curvature, and interelectrode gap distance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number093303
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume107
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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