Pre-breakdown processes in a dielectric fluid in inhomogeneous pulsed electric fields

Mikhail N. Shneider, Mikhail Pekker

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32 Scopus citations


We consider the development of pre-breakdown cavitation nanopores appearing in the dielectric fluid under the influence of the electrostrictive stresses in the inhomogeneous pulsed electric field. It is shown that three characteristic regions can be distinguished near the needle electrode. In the first region, where the electric field gradient is greatest, the cavitation nanopores, occurring during the voltage nanosecond pulse, may grow to the size at which an electron accelerated by the field inside the pores can acquire enough energy for excitation and ionization of the liquid on the opposite pore wall, i.e., the breakdown conditions are satisfied. In the second region, the negative pressure caused by the electrostriction is large enough for the cavitation initiation (which can be registered by optical methods), but, during the voltage pulse, the pores do not reach the size at which the potential difference across their borders becomes sufficient for ionization or excitation of water molecules. And, in the third, the development of cavitation is impossible, due to an insufficient level of the negative pressure: in this area, the spontaneously occurring micropores do not grow and collapse under the influence of surface tension forces. This paper discusses the expansion dynamics of the cavitation pores and their most probable shape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number224902
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number22
StatePublished - Jun 14 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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