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Properties of high-pressure discharge plasmas

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 February 2001


HAN S. UHM
Affiliation:
Department of Molecular Science and Technology, Ajou University, San 5 Wonchon-Dong, Paldal-Gu, Suwon 442-749, Korea
EUN H. CHOI
Affiliation:
Charged Particle Beam and Plasma Laboratory, Department of Electrophysics, Kwangwoon University, Seoul 139-701, Korea
GUANGSUP CHO
Affiliation:
Charged Particle Beam and Plasma Laboratory, Department of Electrophysics, Kwangwoon University, Seoul 139-701, Korea
JAE J. KO
Affiliation:
Charged Particle Beam and Plasma Laboratory, Department of Electrophysics, Kwangwoon University, Seoul 139-701, Korea

Extract

Plasma properties during and immediately after electrical breakdown in a high-pressure gas are investigated. A simple scaling law of electrical discharge at high pressure is obtained. Introducing the normalized net ionization rate ξ, the electron temperature at breakdown is described uniquely in terms of the ionization properties of the gas, the second ionization coefficient γ at the cathode, and the parameter pd, where p is the gas pressure and d is the system dimension. The electron attachment process plays a decisive role in the breakdown phenomenon for a high-pressure gas, whereas it is not important in low-pressure discharges. An analytical expression for the high-pressure plasma density is obtained by making use of the electron rate equation. A simple analytical expression for plasma generation in a high-pressure gas provides important scaling laws in the d.c. electrical discharge system, where the electron attachment process is negligible. It is found that the logarithm of the electron density at breakdown is proportional to the discharge time τb, and is inversely proportional to the pulse risetime and the gap distance d between the two electrodes. The plasma density at breakdown is also an increasing function of the gas ionization energy εi.


Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2000 Cambridge University Press

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