Filamentary and Homogeneous Modes of Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) in Air: Investigation through Plasma Characterization and Simulation of Surface Irradiation

Priyadarshini Rajasekaran, Philipp Mertmann, Nikita Bibinov, Dirk Wandke, Wolfgang Vioel, Peter Awakowicz

PLASMA PROCESSES AND POLYMERS, Volume: 7, Issue: 8, Pages: 665-675, DOI: 10.1002/ppap.200900175, Published: AUG 23 2010


The reported dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) source comprises of a ceramic-covered copper electrode, and plasma can be ignited in ambient air with grounded 'opposite' electrodes or with objects of high capacitance (e.g., human body), when breakdown conditions are satisfied. Filamentary plasma mode is observed when the same source is operated using grounded opposite electrodes like aluminium plate and phosphate buffered saline solution, and a homogeneous plasma mode when operated on glass. When the source is applied on human body, both homogeneous and filamentary discharges occur simultaneously which cannot be resolved into two separate discharges. Here, we report the characterization of filamentary and homogeneous modes of DBD plasma source using the above mentioned grounded electrodes, by applying optical emission spectroscopy, microphotography and numerical simulation. Averaged plasma parameters like electron velocity distribution function and electron density are determined. Fluxes of nitric oxide, ozone and photons reaching the treated surface are simulated. These fluxes obtained in different discharge modes namely, single-filamentary discharge (discharge ignited in same position), stochastical filamentary discharge and homogeneous discharge are compared to identify their applications in human skin treatment. It is concluded that the fluxes of photons and chemically-active particles in the single filamentary mode are the highest but the treated surface area is very small. For treating larger area, the homogeneous DBD is more effective than stochastical filamentary discharge.

tags: plasma