The design and experimental operation of a compact microwave/rf applicator is described. This applicator operates at atmospheric pressure and couples electromagnetic energy into a premixed CH4/O2 flame. The addition of only 2-15 W of microwave power to a premixed combustion flame with a flame power of 10-40 W serves to extend the flammability limits for fuel lean conditions, increases the flame length and intensity, and increases the number density and mixture of excited radical species in the flame vicinity. The downstream gas temperature also increases. Optical emission spectroscopy measurements show gas rotational temperatures in the range of 2500-3600 K. At the higher input power of 10 W microplasma discharges can be produced in the high electric field region of the applicator.
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