Modeling of atmospheric-pressure plasma columns sustained by surface waves

Y. Kabouzi, D. B. Graves, E. Castaños-Martínez, M. Moisan

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95 Scopus citations


A self-consistent two-dimensional fluid-plasma model coupled to Maxwell's equations is presented for argon discharges sustained at atmospheric pressure by the propagation of an electromagnetic surface wave. The numerical simulation provides the full axial and radial structure of the surface-wave plasma column and the distribution of the electromagnetic fields for given discharge operating conditions. To describe the contraction phenomenon, a characteristic feature of high-pressure discharges, we consider the kinetics of argon molecular ions in the charged-particle balance. An original feature of the model is to take into account the gas flow by solving self-consistently the mass, momentum, and energy balance equations for neutral particles. Accounting for the gas flow explains reported discrepancies between measured and calculated plasma parameters when assuming the local axial uniformity approximation. In contrast to the low-pressure case, the latter approximation is shown to be of limited validity at atmospheric pressure. The gas temperature is found to be a key parameter in modeling surface-wave discharges sustained at atmospheric pressure. It determines the radial and the axial structure of the plasma column. The calculated plasma parameters and wave propagation characteristics using the present two-dimensional fluid model are in good agreement with our set of experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number016402
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


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