Electric field evolution in a diffuse ionization wave nanosecond pulse discharge in atmospheric pressure air

Tat-Loon Chng, Alexandra Hã‰lð€ne Marie Brigitte Brisset, Pascal Jeanney, Svetlana Starikovskaia, Igor Adamovich, Pierre Tardiveau

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


The time-resolved electric field in a nanosecond pulse discharge plasma in atmospheric pressure air is measured using the Electric Field Induced Second Harmonic (E-FISH) diagnostic. The electric field is placed on an absolute scale by calibration against a Laplacian field. At relatively low peak voltages, when the plasma is generated only near the pin high-voltage electrode, the electric field is measured ahead of the ionization wave during the entire voltage pulse, exhibiting a strong field enhancement compared to the Laplacian field, by about an order of magnitude. As the peak voltage is increased and the ionization wave traverses the laser beam, the electric field is measured both ahead of the wave and behind the ionization front, where the field drops rapidly due to the charge separation and plasma self-shielding. When the wave reaches the grounded electrode, the discharge transitions into a conduction phase in which the potential is redistributed within the gap. The electric field in the vicinity of the pin then increases again, following the applied voltage waveform for the rest of the pulse. The effective time resolution of the present measurements is 150 ps. Based on the single shot data, we find that the peak electric field in the wave front is moderately influenced by the applied voltage and varies between 160 and 210 kV cm−1. This study demonstrates the viability of the E-FISH diagnostic for this class of atmospheric pressure discharges and paves the way for future in-depth studies of this particular problem.
Original languageEnglish
Article number09LT02
Number of pages8
JournalPlasma Sources Science and Technology
Issue number9
Early online date20 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2019


  • second harmonic generation
  • electric field
  • E-FISH
  • fast ionization wave
  • atmospheric pressure
  • nanosecond pulse discharge

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