Computational study of simultaneous positive and negative streamer propagation in a twin surface dielectric barrier discharge via 2D PIC simulations

Zhang, Q.-Z. and Nguyen-Smith, R.T. and Beckfeld, F. and Liu, Y. and Mussenbrock, T. and Awakowicz, P. and Schulze, J.

Volume: 30 Pages:
DOI: 10.1088/1361-6595/abf598
Published: 2021

The propagation mechanisms of plasma streamers have been observed and investigated in a surface dielectric barrier discharge (SDBD) using 2D particle in cell simulations. The investigations are carried out under a simulated air mixture, 80% N2 and 20% O2, at atmospheric pressure, 100 kPa, under both DC conditions and a pulsed DC waveform that represent AC conditions. The simulated geometry is a simplification of the symmetric and fully exposed SDBD resulting in the simultaneous ignition of both positive and negative streamers on either side of the Al2O3 dielectric barrier. In order to determine the interactivity of the two streamers, the propagation behavior for the positive and negative streamers are investigated both independently and simultaneously under identical constant voltage conditions. An additional focus is implored under a fast sub nanosecond rise time square voltage pulse alternating between positive and negative voltage conditions, thus providing insight into the dynamics of the streamers under alternating polarity switches. It is shown that the simultaneous ignition of both streamers, as well as using the pulsed DC conditions, providing both an enhanced discharge and an increased surface coverage. It is also shown that additional streamer branching may occur in a cross section that is difficult to experimentally observe. The enhanced discharge and surface coverage may be beneficial to many applications such as, but are not limited to: air purification, volatile organic compound removal, and plasma enhanced catalysis. © 2021 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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