Electrical, Thermal and Optical Diagnostics of an Atmospheric Plasma Jet System

C. E. Nwankire, V. J. Law, A. Nindrayog, B. Twomey, K. Niemi, V. Milosavljevic, W. G. Graham, D. P. Dowling

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Plasma diagnostics of atmospheric plasmas is a key tool in helping to understand processing performance issues. This paper presents an electrical, optical and thermographic imaging study of the PlasmaStream atmospheric plasma jet system. The system was found to exhibit three operating modes; one constricted/localized plasma and two extended volume plasmas. At low power and helium flows the plasma is localized at the electrodes and has the electrical properties of a corona/filamentary discharge with electrical chaotic temporal structure. With increasing discharge power and helium flow the plasma expands into the volume of the tube, becoming regular and homogeneous in appearance. Emission spectra show evidence of atomic oxygen, nitric oxide and the hydroxyl radical production. Plasma activated gas temperature deduced from the rotational temperature of nitrogen molecules was found to be of order of 400 K: whereas thermographic imaging of the quartz tube yielded surface temperatures between 319 and 347 K.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-552
Number of pages16
JournalPlasma chemistry and plasma processing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

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