Re-igniting the afterglow plasma column of an AC powered gliding arc discharge in atmospheric-pressure air

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The stability and re-ignition characteristics of the plasma column of an alternating current (AC) powered gliding arc discharge operating in atmospheric-pressure air were investigated for better plasma-mode controlling and optimized applications. By modulating the AC power supply and the air flow field, the states of afterglow plasma column were varied. When pulsating the AC power supply sequence, re-ignitions of the afterglow columns were introduced and their characteristics were studied using simultaneous high-speed photography and electrical measurements. Two re-ignition types were observed in the afterglow column with different decay times (the temporal separation of two sequential pulsed AC power trains). For a short decay time (<200 μs at 10 l/min air flow), the afterglow column can be recovered mildly without current spikes, which is called a glow re-ignition event. If the decay time is so long that the electric field strength becomes larger than 120 kV/m, the re-ignition event occurs with current spikes and bright emissions, which is called a spark re-ignition event. A quasi-equilibrium model is proposed to estimate the chemical compositions in the plasma column and to explain the observed phenomena. It infers that the chemical dissociation and ionization processes enhanced by vibrationally excited nitrogen molecules are dominating in the afterglow plasmas and thereby the electrons can survive a long time to keep the conductivity of the afterglow column, forming a glow re-ignition event. Whereas under large electric field strength (>120 kV/m), the electron impact ionization becomes dominant to trigger the spark re-ignition event.


External organisations
  • National University of Defense Technology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Energy Engineering
Original languageEnglish
Article number264101
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 25
Publication categoryResearch