Journal of Applied Physics
Analysis of the electrical double layer at the electrode-water interface for voltages close to the breakdown point has been carried out based on a static, Monte Carlo approach. It is shown that strong dipole realignment, ion-ion correlation, and finite-size effects can greatly modify the electric fields and local permittivity (hence, leading to optical structure) at the electrode interface. Dramatic enhancements of Schottky injection, providing a source for electronic controlled breakdown, are possible. It is also shown that large pressures associated with the Maxwell stress tensor would be created at the electrode boundaries. Our results depend on the ionic density, and are in keeping with recent observations. A simple, perturbative analysis shows that high field regions with a sharp variation in permittivity can potentially be critical spots for instability initiation. This suggests that the use of polished electrodes, or composite materials, or alternative nonpolar liquids might help enhance high-voltage operation.
Original Publication Citation
Joshi, R. P., Qian, J., Schoenbach, K. H., & Schamiloglu, E. (2004). Microscopic analysis for water stressed by high electric fields in the prebreakdown regime. Journal of Applied Physics, 96(7), 3617-3625. doi:10.1063/1.1789274
Joshi, R. P.; Qian, J.; Schoenbach, K. H.; and Schamiloglu, E., "Microscopic Analysis For Water Stressed By High Electric Fields In The Prebreakdown Regime" (2004). Bioelectrics Publications. 237.