In this paper a discussion of the generation and stability mechanisms of the atmospheric glow plasma is presented. In contrast to conventional wisdom it is concluded that the generation of the stable atmospheric glow is unlikely to be related to a pre-breakdown pre-ionization mechanism. It is argued that the key issue that must be overcome for stable plasma generation is the glow to arc transition. The specific nature of the dielectric barrier material and an electronic stabilization of the fast current variations during breakdown lead to stable atmospheric glow generation.
Aldea, E., Peeters, P., Vries, de, H. W., & Sanden, van de, M. C. M. (2005). Atmospheric glow stabilization. Do we need pre-ionization? Surface and Coatings Technology, 200(1-4), 46-50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surfcoat.2005.01.052