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Modelling and Applications of the Hollow Cathode Plasma

by Söderström, Daniel

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis presents experimental and modelling research on atmospheric pressure hollow cathodes and hollow electrodes. Experiments with the hybrid hollow electrode activated discharge (H-HEAD), which is a combination of a hollow cathode and a microwave plasma source, is presented. The experiments show that this source is able to produce long plasma columns in air and nitrogen at atmospheric pressure and at very low gas flow rates. Measurements of the vibrational temperature of the nitrogen molecules are also presented in this thesis. The vibrational temperature is an indication of the electron temperature in the plasma, an important characteristic of the plasma. Modelling work on the hollow cathode at atmospheric pressure with fluid equations is also presented. It is shown that the inclusion of fast and secondary electrons, characteristic of the hollow cathode plasmas, increases the sheath width. The sheath width was found to be of the order of 100 ?m. By modelling the plasma as highly collisional by using the drift-diffusion approximation, it was shown that the increase in sheath thickness was larger at lower pressures than at higher pressures. Still, the sheath width can be of the order of 100 ?m. A pulsed atmospheric plasma in a hollow electrode geometry was also modelled by the drift-diffusion fluid equations, with the addition of the energy equation for electrons. Rate and transport coefficients for the electrons were calculated from the solution to the Boltzmann equation as functions of mean electron energy. The dynamics of the plasma at pulse rise time showed large electron density and mean energy peaks at the cathode ends, but also that these quantities were enhanced at the centre of the discharge, between the cathode plates.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Uppsala universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:TECHNOLOGY; Engineering physics; Engineering physics; hollow cathode; hybrid plasma; vibrational temperature; atmospheric pressure; fluid modelling; radio frequency; pulsed power; Teknisk fysik

ISBN:978-91-554-7206-1

Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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