Nonequilibrium atmospheric-pressure plasmas have been extensively used in various practical applications, due to their prevailing advantage of avoiding the expensive vacuum system. However, an individual plasma jet typically covers only a few mm2 and the spacing between each jet segment extends up to several or tens of millimeters and much larger than the plasma jet itself. Thus, developing low-cost and low-power large-scale uniform plasma jet array with high activity is considerably challenging.
A research group led by Prof. TANG Jie from Xi'an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics (XIOPM) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) demonstrated a new V–I characteristic modulation enhanced plasma approach in a non-self-sustained discharge, based on which a high-performance laminar plasma jet array (LPJA) with its width up to 90 mm is developed.
It is the first time that this unique modulation method is used to reduce the discharge power and increase both the plasma jet length and chemical activity in an array. The result was published in Advanced Science.
In their experiment, the LPJA is designed based on the V–I characteristic modulation model in a non-selfsustained DC discharge. As a result, a large array of laminar plasma jets is presented in front. The plasma generated in the device was imaged with a digital camera (Nikon D5200).
Under the support of discharge simultaneity and stability, a nested parallel circuit was designed to produce a LPJA with large scale. In addition, the alternating anode–cathode arrangement ensures a uniform plasma and a compact device. The independent switches provide an important flexibility for the local sample treatment and utmost energy saving.
Again by virtue of the nonequilibrium property and low-temperature feature, this LPJA can be efficiently used in processing various kinds of samples, irrespective of sample size and shape.
With these merits, this work not only breaks through the bottleneck of restricting the generation of large and uniform plasmas, but also provides a promising and productive approach for developing low-cost and highly efficient atmospheric plasma sources that are in urgent need for various plasma applications.
The technical roadmap of forming large-scale uniform laminar plasma jet array. (Image by XIOPM)
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