Intensity control of individual DBD plasma filament. II. Fundamental physical mechanism

M. C. Paliwoda, J. L. Rovey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Filamentary volume dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) produces patterned plasma structures that are currently being explored for reconfigurable metamaterial applications. Previous work has demonstrated control of the presence and intensity of a single DBD plasma filament (within an array of filaments) by biasing a low voltage needle electrode. The results were attributed to redistributed charge inside the DBD due to the modified electric field created by the needle electrode. In the present work, results from a 3D electrodynamic field simulation bolster this argument. Results show that increasing needle bias voltage causes changes in the transverse electric field structure, resulting in redistribution and build-up of surface charge at the needle location. This reduces the needle plasma filament intensity and eventually extinguishes the filament. Specifically, extinguishment of the filament corresponds with the following transitions in the field profile: (1) the applied longitudinal electric field profile along the needle lies below that of the adjacent mesh filament; (2) the surface charge on the dielectric at the needle and adjacent mesh locations is equal; and (3) the transverse electric field reverses direction and forces charge toward the needle location. The calculated surface charge on the dielectric barrier agrees with experimentally measured filament light intensity to within 8%, in agreement with theoretical predictions. Analysis of the data and trends suggests a method for predicting filament pattern formation and reducing the necessary voltage bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number053505
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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