Non-thermal atmospheric pressure HF plasma source: generation of nitric oxide and ozone for bio-medical applications

S. Kühn, Nikita Bibinov, R. Gesche, Peter Awakowicz

Plasma Sources Science and Technology 19 (2010)


A new miniature high-frequency (HF) plasma source intended for bio-medical applications is studied using nitrogen/oxygen mixture at atmospheric pressure. This plasma source can be used as an element of a plasma source array for applications in dermatology and surgery. Nitric oxide and ozone which are produced in this plasma source are well-known agents for proliferation of the cells, inhalation therapy for newborn infants, disinfection of wounds and blood ozonation.

Using optical emission spectroscopy, microphotography and numerical simulation, the gas temperature in the active plasma region and plasma parameters (electron density and electron distribution function) are determined for varied nitrogen/oxygen flows. The influence of the gas flows on the plasma conditions is studied. Ozone and nitric oxide concentrations in the effluent of the plasma source are measured using absorption spectroscopy and electro-chemical NO-detector at variable gas flows. Correlations between plasma parameters and concentrations of the particles in the effluent of the plasma source are discussed. By varying the gas flows, the HF plasma source can be optimized for nitric oxide or ozone production. Maximum concentrations of 2750 ppm and 400 ppm of NO and O3, correspondingly, are generated.