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Cheng-Che Hsu, Cheng-Yi Wu

Electrical characterization of the glow-to-arc transition of an atmospheric pressure pulsed arc jet

Journal of Physics D 42 (2009) 555

We present the electrical characterization of atmospheric pressure nitrogen plasmas sustained by repetitive pulse power. This plasma jet undergoes glow-to-arc transition within each power cycle. The effects of the operating conditions, namely the gas flow rate, the applied voltage and the duty cycle on the electrical characteristics associated with the glow-to-arc transition are studied. The factors that primarily affect the electrical characteristics of the plasma are the energy input to unit amount of gas and the convective heat transfer between the gas and the electrode. By changing this quantity, the electrical characteristics of the plasma that are altered include the discharge resistance before the glow-to-arc transition, the voltage and the time at which the transition occurs and the maximum current upon the transition. The major mechanisms attributed to the above changes are the thermal effect, the kinetic effect and the heating of the electrode surface by the discharge.

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