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The group "Allgemeine Elektrotechnik und Plasmatechnik" at the faculty for engineering and information science.

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Computational study of simultaneous positive and negative streamer propagation in a twin surface dielectric barrier discharge via 2D PIC simulations

The propagation mechanisms of plasma streamers have been observed and investigated in a surface dielectric barrier discharge (SDBD) using 2D particle in cell simulations. The investigations are carried out under a simulated air mixture, 80% N2 and 20% O2, at atmospheric pressure, 100 kPa, under both DC conditions and a pulsed DC waveform that represent AC conditions. The simulated geometry is a simplification of the symmetric and fully exposed SDBD resulting in the simultaneous ignition of both positive and negative streamers on either side of the Al2O3 dielectric barrier. In order to determine the interactivity of the two streamers, the propagation behavior for the positive and negative streamers are investigated both independently and simultaneously under identical constant voltage conditions. An additional focus is implored under a fast sub nanosecond rise time square voltage pulse alternating between positive and negative voltage conditions, thus providing insight into the dynamics of the streamers under alternating polarity switches. It is shown that the simultaneous ignition of both streamers, as well as using the pulsed DC conditions, provides both an enhanced discharge and an increased surface coverage. It is also shown that additional streamer branching may occur in a cross section that is difficult to experimentally observe. The enhanced discharge and surface coverage may be beneficial to many applications such as, but are not limited to: air purification, volatile organic compound removal, and plasma enhanced catalysis.

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Plasma Source Name
Plasma Source Application
Plasma Source Specification
Plasma Source Properties
Atmospheric pressure twin Surface Dielectric Barrier discharge, intended for air purification and or plasma catalysis applications. Experimentally driven in the multi kV and kHz regime, providing plasma powers between 1 and 100 W. This inception of the discharge is numerically modeled with a PIC/MCC code under two voltage waveform conditions. In the first model the powered electrode is powered by a +/- 8kV DC voltage for 1 ns. In the second model, the powered electrode is powered by a pulsed voltage with a rise time of 80 kV/s, pulsing from 0 V, to +8kV, to - 8kV, and back to +8kV all within a 2 ns timescale.
English (United States)
Plasma Medium Name
Contact Name
Ryan Thomas Nguyen-Smith
Contact Email
Plasma Diagnostic Properties
Numerical investigations with a PIC/MCC model are used and simulated in the VSim simulation software. The PIC/MCC model uses the electrostatic approximation of the Boltzmann equation. A grid size of 500 x 4000 and 500 x 1000 were used with square grids of 2.4µm in size, based off of the courant limit and typical Debye lengths under the considered conditions. A cutting cell technique was used to handle the irregular geometry of the curved electrode. Neumann boundary conditions were used as the walls are at a floating potential. The time steps were held constant at 2x10-13 s. The simulated dielectric barrier has a dielectric coefficient of 9.
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Project Contact Name: 
Ryan Thomas Nguyen-Smith