Self-pulsing 104 A cm-2 current density discharges in dielectric barrier Al/Al2O3 microplasma devices

Yarmolich, D.; Krasik, Ya. E.; Stambulchik, E.; Bernshtam, V.; Yoon, J. K.; Herrera, B.; Park, S.-J.; Eden, J. G.
January 2009
Applied Physics Letters;1/5/2009, Vol. 94 Issue 1, p011501
Academic Journal
Excitation of Al/Al2O3 microplasma devices with 50 μs, 800 V pulses produces, in Ar/H2 gas mixtures at 600 Torr, ∼6 A current pulses with a duration of ∼30 ns. Corresponding to peak current and power densities of ∼104 A/cm2 and ∼2.5 GW/cm3, respectively, these pulses are generated in a 10 μs burst in which the voltage self-pulses at a repetition frequency of ∼3 MHz. Analysis of the Hα, Hβ, and Ar II emission line profiles yields a plasma density of ∼1017 cm-3, and the emission of O IV ions suggests the presence of energetic electrons. Images of the microplasma indicate that the plasma is initiated by surface flashover and extends ∼200 μm outside the microcavity.


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