Experimental and computational investigations of electron dynamics in micro atmospheric pressure radio-frequency plasma jets operated in He/N2 mixtures

L Bischoff, G Hübner, I Korolov, Zoltán Donkó, Peter Hartmann, Timo Gans, J Held, V. Schulz-von der Gathen, Y Liu, T. Mussenbrock, J. Schulze

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The electron power absorption dynamics in radio frequency driven micro atmospheric pressure capacitive plasma jets are studied based on experimental phase resolved optical emission spectroscopy and the computational particle in cell simulations with Monte Carlo treatment of collisions. The jet is operated at 13.56 MHz in He with different admixture concentrations of N2 and at several driving voltage amplitudes. We find the spatio-temporal dynamics of the light emission of the plasma at various wavelengths to be markedly different. This is understood by revealing the population dynamics of the upper levels of selected emission lines/bands based on comparisons between experimental and simulation results. The populations of these excited states are sensitive to different parts of the electron energy distribution function and to contributions from other excited states. Mode transitions of the electron power absorption dynamics from the Ω- to the Penning-mode are found to be induced by changing the N2 admixture concentration and the driving voltage amplitude. Our numerical simulations reveal details of this mode transition and provide novel insights into the operation details of the Penning-mode. The characteristic excitation/emission maximum at the time of maximum sheath voltage at each electrode is found to be based on two mechanisms: (i) a direct channel, i.e. excitation/emission caused by electrons generated by Penning ionization inside the sheaths and (ii) an indirect channel, i.e. secondary electrons emitted from the electrode due to the impact of positive ions generated by Penning ionization at the electrodes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125009
Number of pages17
JournalPlasma sources science & technology
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2018

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