Propagation of ionization waves in an atmospheric pressure, rare gas background has been observed in arrays of parallel microchannels fabricated in nanostructured alumina (Al2O3). Propelled by the accumulation of charge on the microchannel wall, packets of low temperature, nonequilibrium plasma propagate at a uniform velocity of ∼20 km-s -1 in 230 μm wide, 3.5 cm long channels flanked by Al electrodes buried in the Al2O3 wall. Temporally and spatially resolved images of the microchannel plasmas show the ionization wave to have a mean length of ∼5.2 mm and the dominant mechanism for volumetric electron loss to be dissociative recombination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)