Pulsed surface discharges in nitrogen and in air: experiments and simulations

A.A. Dubinova, D.J.M. Trienekens, U.M. Ebert, S. Nijdam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


We study positive streamer discharges in nitrogen and in air propagating near or on the surface of a dielectric rod. The discharge is launched from a needle, and propagates towards a dielectric rod which is placed directly under the needle. In some cases, when the discharge attaches to the rod it moves along it with a velocity larger than in the gas without the rod, and in other cases it moves more slowly. We aim at understanding this dynamics of streamer interaction with dielectrics and the mechanisms of streamer propagation along the surface. We have developed a cylindrically symmetric model based on the fluid streamer model in local field approximation. Our model allows us to analyze the interplay of photoionization, photoelectron emission from the rod and dielectric polarization of the rod, and voltage pulse shape, amplitude and repetition frequency. We compare the morphology and the velocity of the simulated surface streamers with those measured in dedicated experiments. In the experiments, we use stroboscopic imaging with an ICCD camera to retrieve streamer velocity and shape.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication68th Annual Gaseous Electronics Conference/9th International Conference on Reactive Plasmas/33rd Symposium on Plasma Processing, 12-16 October 2015, Honolulu, Hawaii
PublisherAmerican Physical Society
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2015

Publication series

NameBulletin of the American Physical Society
ISSN (Print)0003-0503


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