Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Atmospheric-pressure diffuse discharge plasmas are susceptible to instabilities and, in particular, to arcing (the glow-to-arc transition). Some of the most promising approaches to ‘stabilizing’ atmospheric-pressure plasmas are based on the recognition that arc formation can be avoided when the plasmas are generated and maintained in spatially constricted geometries with dimensions from tens to hundreds of microns. Known as microplasmas or microdischarges, these weakly-ionized discharges represent a new and fascinating realm of plasma science in which several scientific issues, such as the potential breakdown of pd scaling and the role of boundary-based phenomena, come to the fore. In contrast to ‘macroplasmas’ typically produced at pressures well below one atmosphere, high-pressure microdischarges offer the formation of transient molecular species, such as the rare gas excimers, that are generated by three-body collisions. When excited with sub-microsecond pulses, microplasmas can exhibit significant shifts in electron and ion temperatures and in the electron and ion energy distribution functions, which can be exploited in applications such as intense UV/VUV light sources and for the selective production of chemically reactive radicals. The technological applications of these stable high-pressure microplasmas have outpaced the detailed understanding of the plasma physics and the key processes in these plasmas on a microscopic level.
Original Publication Citation
Becker, K. H., Eden, J. G., & Schoenbach, K. H. (2005). Cluster issue on microplasmas. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 38(11). doi:10.1088/0022-3727/38/11/e01
Becker, Kurt H.; Eden, J. Gary; and Schoenbach, Karl H., "Cluster Issue on Microplasmas" (2005). Bioelectrics Publications. 207.