Atmospheric-pressure gas breakdown from 2 to 100 MHz

Walsh, J. L.; Zhang, Y. T.; Iza, F.; Kong, M. G.
December 2008
Applied Physics Letters;12/1/2008, Vol. 93 Issue 22, p221505
Academic Journal
We report a detailed study of breakdown voltage of atmospheric-pressure helium gas between two parallel-plate electrodes from 2 to 100 MHz. Experimental data show that the breakdown voltage reduces initially with increasing frequency due to a diminishing contribution of drift-dominated electron wall loss and then begins to increase with increasing frequency. The latter is contrary to the current understanding that relies largely on the electron wall loss mechanism. Particle-in-cell simulation suggests that rapid oscillation of the applied voltage prevents electrons from reaching their maximum achievable kinetic energy, thus compromising the ionization efficiency and increasing the breakdown voltage.


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