We present a comparison of a finite element analysis of the atmospheric pressure RF-excited plasma needle interacting with different surfaces with corresponding experimental observations of light emission spatial profiles. The gas used is helium with 1 ppm nitrogen as an impurity. The needle has a point-to-plane geometry with a radius of 30 νm at the tip and an inter-electrode gap of 1 mm. We employ a fluid model in two-dimensional axisymmetric coordinates. Our simulation results indicate that the plasma structure strongly depends on the electrical properties of the treated surface as well as the discharge mode. In the lower power corona mode with a dielectric surface, the plasma is confined near the needle tip. As a result, particle fluxes to the dielectric surface are relatively low and follow a Gaussian-like radial profile. In the higher power glow mode with a dielectric surface, the particle fluxes to the surface are orders of magnitude higher and the spatial distribution of the particle fluxes becomes radially more uniform due to a uniform ionization layer just above the treated surface. When a conductive plate replaces the dielectric surface in the glow mode, a quite intense ionization spot appears near the surface closest to the needle tip. Consequently, the particle fluxes to the surface peak near the symmetry axis under these conditions. These simulation results are validated by experimental observation of light emission spatial profiles.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films