Laser Triggering of Electric Breakdown In Liquids

A Sunesson, P Barmann, Stefan Kröll, L Walfridsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electric breakdown in semihomogeneous geometries has been studied in n-hexane and transformer oil using a laser triggering method for fields far below the spontaneous breakdown field. The method uses a laser-produced plasma to initiate the breakdown. Strong self focusing in the liquids was limited by increasing the numerical aperture of the laser beam to > 0.20 prior to focusing. Electrical breakdown could be triggered at fields as low as 50 kV/cm in transformer oil and 25 kV/cm for n-hexane. The time lags are between 30 and 200 mus, depending on voltage, liquid, and gap size. Current and light emission measurements of the prebreakdown phenomena are presented and a model for the triggering process is proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)680-691
JournalIEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1994

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics


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