SFB 1316 – Project A5

From ns- to ms-pulses – influence of voltage characteristics on surface barrier discharges

Environmental protection and energy efficiency have been and continue to be a growing concern in the modern world. One such aspect that can be improved is the purification of polluted gas flows from various industries and living spaces. Plasma-assisted catalysis is a promising research topic for such future applications. Project A5 of the DFG funded SFB 1316 seeks to use various power supplies in order to physically characterize the plasma of a novel twin surface dielectric barrier discharge that is intended for use in purifying gas streams by means of plasma-assisted catalysis.

The energy efficiency of the processes is strongly related to the voltage waveform used to power the twin surface dielectric barrier discharge. Analysis of the physical discharge when powered by various voltage waveforms provides insight into which tailored waveform will be ideal for the intended usage. A high voltage resonant circuit on the microsecond timescale, a high voltage DC supply with a push pull switch providing ns square pulses, and a true high voltage ns pulser are each utilized in these voltage waveform tailoring investigations.

Ultimately, through understanding of the physical discharge when powered by the various tailored waveforms is a vital step in providing more energy efficient methods of real world applications. By providing the voltage source that results in the ideal conditions for the devices intended application, a more energy efficient and less resource-intensive system is achieved, providing a further step towards environmental sustainability.