Formation of spatially periodic fronts of high-energy electrons in a radio-frequency driven surface microdischarge

James Peter Dedrick, D. O'Connell, T. Gans, R. W. Boswell, C. Charles

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The generation of spatially periodic fronts of high-energy electrons (>13.48 eV) has been investigated in a radio-frequency surface microdischarge in atmospheric-pressure argon. Optical emission spectroscopy is used to study the Ar I 2p(1) - 1s(2) transition surrounding a filamentary microdischarge, both spatially and with respect to the phase of the applied voltage. The formation of excitation fronts, which remain at a constant propagation distance throughout the RF cycle and for the duration of the pulse, may be explained by a localized increase in the electric field at the tip of surface-charge layers that are deposited during the extension phase. (C) 2013 American Institute of Physics. 

Original languageEnglish
Article number034109
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2013


  • Discharges
  • Breakdown
  • Atmospheric-Pressure

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