Atmospheric-pressure diffuse dielectric barrier discharges in Ar/O2 gas mixture using 200 kHz/13.56 MHz dual frequency excitation

Y. Liu, S.A. Starostin, F.J.J. Peeters, M.C.M. van de Sanden, H.W. de Vries

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Atmospheric-pressure diffuse dielectric barrier discharges (DBDs) were obtained in Ar/O2 gas mixture using dual-frequency (DF) excitation at 200 kHz low frequency (LF) and 13.56 MHz radio frequency (RF). The excitation dynamics and the plasma generation mechanism were studied by means of electrical characterization and phase resolved optical emission spectroscopy (PROES). The DF excitation results in a time-varying electric field which is determined by the total LF and RF gas voltage and the spatial ion distribution which only responds to the LF component. By tuning the amplitude ratio of the superimposed LF and RF signals, the effect of each frequency component on the DF discharge mechanism was analysed. The LF excitation results in a transient plasma with the formation of an electrode sheath and therefore a pronounced excitation near the substrate. The RF oscillation allows the electron trapping in the gas gap and helps to improve the plasma uniformity by contributing to the pre-ionization and by controlling the discharge development. The possibility of temporally modifying the electric field and thus the plasma generation mechanism in the DF discharge exhibits potential applications in plasma-assisted surface processing and plasma-assisted gas phase chemical conversion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114002
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2018


  • atmospheric pressure
  • dielectric barrier discharge
  • dual frequency
  • excitation dynamics


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