Topical issue: Microplasmas: Scientific Challenges and Technological opportunities

The European Physical Journal D

, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 517-522

First online:

Low temperature, atmospheric pressure, direct current microplasma jet operated in air, nitrogen and oxygen

  • A.-A.H. MohamedAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, Faculty of Science, Taibah UniversityPhysics Department, Faculty of Science, Beni-Suef University Email author 
  • , J. F. KolbAffiliated withFrank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics, Old Dominion University
  • , K. H. SchoenbachAffiliated withFrank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics, Old Dominion University

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Micro-plasma jets in atmospheric pressure molecular gases (nitrogen, oxygen, air) were generated by blowing these gases through direct current microhollow cathode discharges (MHCDs). The tapered discharge channel, drilled through two 100 to 200 μm thick molybdenum electrodes separated by a 200 μm thick alumina layer, is 150 to 450 μm in diameter in the cathode and has an opening of 100 to 300 μm in diameter in the anode. Sustaining voltages are 400 to 600 V, the maximum current is 25 mA. The gas temperature of the microplasma inside the microhollow cathode varies between ~2000 K and ~1000 K depending on current, gas, and flow rate. Outside the discharge channel the temperature in the jet can be reduced by manipulating the discharge current and the gas flow to achieve values close to room temperature. This cold microplasma jet can be used for surface treatment of heat sensitive substances, and for sterilization of contaminated areas.