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Plasma, Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2021) – 11 articles

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Article
Demonstration of Dynamics of Nanosecond Discharge in Liquid Water Using Four-Channel Time-Resolved ICCD Microscopy
Plasma 2021, 4(1), 183-200; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plasma4010011 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 562
Abstract
The microscopic physical mechanisms of micro-discharges produced in liquid waters by nanosecond high-voltage pulses are quite complex phenomena, and relevant coherent experimentally supported theoretical descriptions are yet to be provided. In this study, by combining a long-distance microscope with a four-channel image splitter [...] Read more.
The microscopic physical mechanisms of micro-discharges produced in liquid waters by nanosecond high-voltage pulses are quite complex phenomena, and relevant coherent experimentally supported theoretical descriptions are yet to be provided. In this study, by combining a long-distance microscope with a four-channel image splitter fitted with four synchronised intensified charge-coupled device detectors, we obtained and analysed sequences of microscopic discharge images acquired with sub-nanosecond temporal resolution during a single event. We tracked luminous filaments either through monochromatic images at two specific wavelengths (532 and 656 nm) or through broadband integrated UV–vis–near infrared (NIR) discharge emission. An analysis of the sequences of images capturing discharge filaments in subsequent time windows facilitated the tracking of movement of the luminous fronts during their expansion. The velocity of expansion progressively decreased from the maximum of ~2.3 × 105 m/s observed close to the anode pin until the propagation stopped due to the drop in the anode potential. We demonstrate the basic features characterising the development of the luminous discharge filaments. Our study provides an important insight into the dynamics of micro-discharges during the primary and successive reflected high-voltage pulses in de-ionised water. Full article
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Article
Operation of Large RF Driven Negative Ion Sources for Fusion at Pressures below 0.3 Pa
Plasma 2021, 4(1), 172-182; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plasma4010010 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 563
Abstract
The large (size: 1 m × 2 m) radio frequency (RF) driven negative ion sources for the neutral beam heating (NBI) systems of the future fusion experiment ITER will be operated at a low filling pressure of 0.3 Pa, in hydrogen or in [...] Read more.
The large (size: 1 m × 2 m) radio frequency (RF) driven negative ion sources for the neutral beam heating (NBI) systems of the future fusion experiment ITER will be operated at a low filling pressure of 0.3 Pa, in hydrogen or in deuterium. The plasma will be generated by inductively coupling an RF power of up to 800 kW into the source volume. Under consideration for future neutral beam heating systems, like the one for the demonstration reactor DEMO, is an even lower filling pressure of 0.2 Pa. Together with the effect of neutral gas depletion, such low operational pressures can result in a neutral gas density below the limit required for sustaining the plasma. Systematic investigations on the low-pressure operational limit of the half-ITER-size negative ion source of the ELISE (Extraction from a Large Ion Source Experiment) test facility were performed, demonstrating that operation is possible below 0.2 Pa. A strong correlation of the lower pressure limit on the magnetic filter field topology is found. Depending on the field topology, operation close to the low-pressure limit is accompanied by strong plasma oscillations in the kHz range. Full article
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Review
Progresses on the Use of Two-Photon Absorption Laser Induced Fluorescence (TALIF) Diagnostics for Measuring Absolute Atomic Densities in Plasmas and Flames
Plasma 2021, 4(1), 145-171; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plasma4010009 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 853
Abstract
Recent developments in plasma science and technology have opened new areas of research both for fundamental purposes (e.g., description of key physical phenomena involved in laboratory plasmas) and novel applications (material synthesis, microelectronics, thin film deposition, biomedicine, environment, flow control, to name a [...] Read more.
Recent developments in plasma science and technology have opened new areas of research both for fundamental purposes (e.g., description of key physical phenomena involved in laboratory plasmas) and novel applications (material synthesis, microelectronics, thin film deposition, biomedicine, environment, flow control, to name a few). With the increasing availability of advanced optical diagnostics (fast framing imaging, gas flow visualization, emission/absorption spectroscopy, etc.), a better understanding of the physicochemical processes taking place in different electrical discharges has been achieved. In this direction, the implementation of fast (ns) and ultrafast (ps and fs) lasers has been essential for the precise determination of the electron density and temperature, the axial and radial gradients of electric fields, the gas temperature, and the absolute density of ground-state reactive atoms and molecules in non-equilibrium plasmas. For those species, the use of laser-based spectroscopy has led to their in situ quantification with high temporal and spatial resolution, with excellent sensitivity. The present review is dedicated to the advances of two-photon absorption laser induced fluorescence (TALIF) techniques for the measurement of reactive species densities (particularly atoms such as N, H and O) in a wide range of pressures in plasmas and flames. The requirements for the appropriate implementation of TALIF techniques as well as their fundamental principles are presented based on representative published works. The limitations on the density determination imposed by different factors are also discussed. These may refer to the increasing pressure of the probed medium (leading to a significant collisional quenching of excited states), and other issues originating in the high instantaneous power density of the lasers used (such as photodissociation, amplified stimulated emission, and photoionization, resulting to the saturation of the optical transition of interest). Full article
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Review
Linear and Nonlinear Plasma Processes in Ionospheric HF Heating
Plasma 2021, 4(1), 108-144; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plasma4010008 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Featured observations of high frequency (HF) heating experiments are first introduced; the uniqueness of each observation is presented; the likely cause and physical process of each observed phenomenon instigated by the HF heating are discussed. A special point in the observations, revealed through [...] Read more.
Featured observations of high frequency (HF) heating experiments are first introduced; the uniqueness of each observation is presented; the likely cause and physical process of each observed phenomenon instigated by the HF heating are discussed. A special point in the observations, revealed through the ionograms, is the competition between the Langmuir parametric instability and upper hybrid parametric instability excited in the heating experiments and the impact of the natural cusp at foE (the peak plasma frequency of the ionospheric E region) on the competition. The ionograms also infer the generation of Langmuir and upper hybrid cavitons. Ray tracing theory is formulated. With and without the appearance of large-scale field-aligned density irregularities in the background ionosphere, ray trajectories of the ordinary mode (O-mode) and extraordinary mode (X-mode) sounding pulses are calculated numerically. The results explain the artificial Spread-F recorded by the digisondes in the heating experiments. Parametric instabilities, which are the directly relevant processes to achieve effective heating of the ionospheric F region, are formulated and analyzed. The threshold fields and growth rates of Langmuir and upper hybrid parametric instabilities are derived as the theoretical basis of many radar observations and electron-plasma wave interactions. Harmonic cyclotron resonance interaction processes between electrons and upper hybrid waves are introduced. Formulation and analysis are presented. The numerical results show that ultra-energetic electrons are generated. These electrons enhance airglow at 777.4 nm as well as cause ionization. Physical processes leading to the generation of artificial ionization layers are discussed. The nonlinear Schrodinger equation governing the nonlinear evolution of Langmuir waves and upper hybrid waves are derived and solved. The nonlinear periodic and solitary solutions of the equations are obtained. The localized Langmuir and upper hybrid waves generated by the HF heater form cavitons near the HF reflection layer and near the upper hybrid resonance layer, which induce bumps in the virtual height spread of the ionogram trace similar to that induced by the density cusp at E-F1 transition layer; the down-going Langmuir waves and upper hybrid waves evolve into nonlinear periodic waves propagating along the magnetic field, which backscatter incoherently the sounding pulses to cause downward virtual height spread. Full article
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Article
Negative Hydrogen and Deuterium Ion Density in a Low Pressure Plasma in Front of a Converter Surface at Different Work Functions
Plasma 2021, 4(1), 94-107; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plasma4010007 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 510
Abstract
Negative ion sources of neutral beam injection (NBI) systems for future fusion devices like ITER (“The Way” in Latin) rely on the surface conversion of hydrogen (or deuterium) atoms and positive ions to negative ions in an inductively coupled plasma (ICP). The efficiency [...] Read more.
Negative ion sources of neutral beam injection (NBI) systems for future fusion devices like ITER (“The Way” in Latin) rely on the surface conversion of hydrogen (or deuterium) atoms and positive ions to negative ions in an inductively coupled plasma (ICP). The efficiency of this process depends on the work function of the converter surface. By introducing caesium into the ion source the work function decreases, enhancing the negative ion yield. In order to study the isotope effect on the negative ion density at different work functions, fundamental investigations are performed in a planar ICP laboratory experiment where the work function and the negative ion density in front of a sample can be simultaneously and absolutely determined. For work functions above 2.7 eV, the main contribution to the negative hydrogen ion density is solely due to volume formation, which can be modeled via the rate balance model YACORA H, while below 2.7 eV the surface conversion become significant and the negative ion density increases. For a work function of 2.1 eV (bulk Cs), the H density increases by at least a factor of 2.8 with respect to a non-caesiated surface. With a deuterium plasma, the D density measured at 2.1 eV is a factor of 2.5 higher with respect to a non-caesiated surface, reaching densities of surface produced negative ions comparable to the hydrogen case. Full article
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Article
Parametric Studies of a Mercury-Free DBD Lamp
Plasma 2021, 4(1), 82-93; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plasma4010006 - 04 Feb 2021
Viewed by 517
Abstract
Mercury discharge lamps are often used because of their high efficiency; however, the usage of mercury lamps will be restricted or forbidden for safety and environmental purposes. Finding alternative solutions to suppress mercury is of major interest. The aim of this work is [...] Read more.
Mercury discharge lamps are often used because of their high efficiency; however, the usage of mercury lamps will be restricted or forbidden for safety and environmental purposes. Finding alternative solutions to suppress mercury is of major interest. The aim of this work is to increase the luminous efficacy of a commercial-free mercury flat dielectric barrier discharge lamp (Planilum, St Gobain) in order to reach the necessary conditions for the lamp to be used as a daily lighting source. The lamp is made of two glass plates separated by a gap of 2 mm. The gap is filled by a neon xenon mixture. The external electrodes made of transparent ITO (indium tin oxide) are deposited on the lamp glass plates. The electrical signal applied to the electrodes generates a UV-emitting plasma inside the gap. Phosphors deposited on the glass allow the production of visible light. The original electrode geometry is plane-to-plane; this induces filamentary discharges. We show that changing the plane-to-plane geometry to a coplanar geometry allows the plasma to spread all over the electrode surface, and we can reach twice the efficacy of the lamp (32 lm/W) as compared to the original value. Using this new electrode geometrical configuration and changing the electrical signal from sinusoidal to a pulsed signal greatly improves the visual uniformity of the emitted light all over the lamp. Electrical and optical parametric measurements were performed to study the lamp characteristics. We show that it is possible to develop a free mercury lamp with an efficacy compatible with lighting purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dielectric Barrier Discharges)
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Editorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Plasma in 2020
Plasma 2021, 4(1), 81; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plasma4010005 - 01 Feb 2021
Viewed by 537
Abstract
Peer review is the driving force behind the development of a journal, and it is the reviewers who ensure that the high standard of the papers published in Plasma is maintained [...] Full article
Review
The Resistive Barrier Discharge: A Brief Review of the Device and Its Biomedical Applications
Plasma 2021, 4(1), 75-80; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plasma4010004 - 28 Jan 2021
Viewed by 623
Abstract
This paper reviews the principles behind the design and operation of the resistive barrier discharge, a low temperature plasma source that operates at atmospheric pressure. One of the advantages of this plasma source is that it can be operated using either DC or [...] Read more.
This paper reviews the principles behind the design and operation of the resistive barrier discharge, a low temperature plasma source that operates at atmospheric pressure. One of the advantages of this plasma source is that it can be operated using either DC or AC high voltages. Plasma generated by the resistive barrier discharge has been used to efficiently inactivate pathogenic microorganisms and to destroy cancer cells. These biomedical applications of low temperature plasma are of great interest because in recent times bacteria developed increased resistance to antibiotics and because present cancer therapies often are accompanied by serious side effects. Low temperature plasma, such the one generated by the resistive barrier discharge, is a technology that can help overcome these healthcare challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dielectric Barrier Discharges)
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Article
Method for Measuring the Laser Field and the Opacity of Spectral Lines in Plasmas
Plasma 2021, 4(1), 65-74; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plasma4010003 - 20 Jan 2021
Viewed by 470
Abstract
In experimental studies of laser-plasma interactions, the laser radiation can exist inside plasma regions where the electron density is below the critical density (“underdense” plasma), as well as at the surface of the critical density. The surface of the critical density could exhibit [...] Read more.
In experimental studies of laser-plasma interactions, the laser radiation can exist inside plasma regions where the electron density is below the critical density (“underdense” plasma), as well as at the surface of the critical density. The surface of the critical density could exhibit a rich physics. Namely, the incident laser radiation can get converted in transverse electromagnetic waves of significantly higher amplitudes than the incident radiation, due to various nonlinear processes. We proposed a diagnostic method based on the laser-produced satellites of hydrogenic spectral lines in plasmas. The method allows measuring both the laser field (or more generally, the field of the resulting transverse electromagnetic wave) and the opacity from experimental spectrum of a hydrogenic line exhibiting satellites. This spectroscopic diagnostic should be useful for a better understanding of laser-plasma interactions, including relativistic laser-plasma interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laser–Plasma Interactions and Applications)
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Review
Super Transition Arrays: A Tool for Studying Spectral Properties of Hot Plasmas
Plasma 2021, 4(1), 42-64; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plasma4010002 - 08 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 523
Abstract
For the theoretical study of X and extreme-UV spectra of ions in plasmas, quantum mechanics brings more detailed results than statistical physics. However, it is impossible to handle individually the billions of levels that must be taken into account in order to properly [...] Read more.
For the theoretical study of X and extreme-UV spectra of ions in plasmas, quantum mechanics brings more detailed results than statistical physics. However, it is impossible to handle individually the billions of levels that must be taken into account in order to properly describe hot plasmas. Such levels can be gathered into electronic configurations or superconfigurations (groups of configurations) and the corresponding calculations rely on appropriate statistical methods, for local or non-local thermodynamic equilibrium plasmas. In this article we present the basic principles of the Super-Transition-Array approach as well as its practical implementation. During the last decades, calculations performed with the SCO code (Superconfiguration Code for Opacity) have been compared to opacity measurements. The code includes static screening of ions by plasma and is well suited for studying plasma density effects (for example pressure ionization) on opacity and equation of state. The recently developed SCO-RCG code (Superconfiguration Code for Opacity combined with Robert Cowan’s “G” subroutine) combines statistical methods from SCO and fine-structure (detailed-level-accounting) calculations using subroutine RCG from Cowan’s code. SCO-RCG enables us to obtain very detailed spectra and to significantly improve the interpretation of experimental spectra. The Super-Transition-Array formalism is still the cornerstone of several opacity codes, and new ideas are emerging, such as the Configurationally Resolved-Super-Transition-Array approach or the extension of the Partially Resolved-Transition-Array concept to the superconfiguration method. Full article
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Review
Piezoelectric Direct Discharge: Devices and Applications
Plasma 2021, 4(1), 1-41; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plasma4010001 - 28 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1238
Abstract
The piezoelectric direct discharge (PDD) is a comparatively new type of atmospheric pressure gaseous discharge for production of cold plasma. The generation of such discharge is possible using the piezoelectric cold plasma generator (PCPG) which comprises the resonant piezoelectric transformer (RPT) with voltage [...] Read more.
The piezoelectric direct discharge (PDD) is a comparatively new type of atmospheric pressure gaseous discharge for production of cold plasma. The generation of such discharge is possible using the piezoelectric cold plasma generator (PCPG) which comprises the resonant piezoelectric transformer (RPT) with voltage transformation ratio of more than 1000, allowing for reaching the output voltage >10 kV at low input voltage, typically below 25 V. As ionization gas for the PDD, either air or various gas mixtures are used. Despite some similarities with corona discharge and dielectric barrier discharge, the ignition of micro-discharges directly at the ceramic surface makes PDD unique in its physics and application potential. The PDD is used directly, in open discharge structures, mainly for treatment of electrically nonconducting surfaces. It is also applied as a plasma bridge to bias different excitation electrodes, applicable for a broad range of substrate materials. In this review, the most important architectures of the PDD based discharges are presented. The operation principle, the main operational characteristics and the example applications, exploiting the specific properties of the discharge configurations, are discussed. Due to the moderate power achievable by PCPG, of typically less than 10 W, the focus of this review is on applications involving thermally sensitive materials, including food, organic tissues, and liquids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Direct Discharge)
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