Dynamics, OH distributions and UV emission of a gliding arc at various flow-rates investigated by optical measurements

Jiajian Zhu, Zhiwei Sun, Zhongshan Li, Andreas Ehn, Marcus Aldén, Mirko Salewski, Frank Leipold, Yukihiro Kusano

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74 Citations (SciVal)


We demonstrate a plasma discharge which is generated between two diverging electrodes and extended into a gliding arc in non-equilibrium condition by an air flow at atmospheric pressure. Effects of the air flow rates on the dynamics, ground-state OH distributions and spectral characterization of UV emission of the gliding arc were investigated by optical methods. High-speed photography was utilized to reveal flow-rate dependent dynamics such as ignitions, propagation, short-cutting events, extinctions and conversions of the discharge from glowtype to spark-type. Short-cutting events and ignitions occur more frequently at higher flow rates. The anchor points of the gliding arc are mostly steady at the top of the electrodes at lower flow rates whereas at higher flow rates they glide up along the electrodes most of the time. The afterglow of fully developed gliding arcs is observed to decay over hundreds of microseconds after being electronically short-cut by a newly ignited arc. The extinction time decreases with the increase of the flow rate. The frequency of the conversion of a discharge from glow-type to spark-type increases with the flow rate. Additionally, spatial distributions of ground-state OH were investigated using planar laser-induced fluorescence. The results show that the shape, height, intensity and thickness of ground-state OH distribution vary significantly with air flow rates. Finally, UV emission of the gliding arc is measured using optical emission spectroscopy and it is found that the emission intensity of NO gamma (A-X), OH (A-X) and N-2 (C-B) increase with the flow rates showing more characteristics of spark-type arcs. The observed phenomena indicate the significance of the interaction between local turbulence and the gliding arc.
Original languageEnglish
Article number295203
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics


  • plasma diagnostics
  • gliding arc
  • nonthermal plasma


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