Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 473–485 | Cite as

Pump Effect of a Capillary Discharge in Electrically Conductive Liquids

  • Filip De BaerdemaekerEmail author
  • Milan Šimek
  • Christophe Leys
  • Willy Verstraete
Original Paper


Among the configurations to generate plasma in electrically conductive liquids only the diaphragm and the capillary discharge schemes allow to generate plasma which is not in contact with one of the electrodes. Based on this concept, this work reports for the first time the development of an underwater plasma pump, in which the periodic electrical breakdown inside an asymmetrical (sub-)millimetre hole results in a net flow of aqueous solution through the hole without the use of any moving parts such as valves or diaphragms typically used in micropumps. Certain capillary geometries feature very stable flow rates and even allow altering flow direction by changing the power. By varying the hole’s dimensions, the range of time-independent flow rates covers more than one order of magnitude and as the discharge produces some of the strongest oxidants available, we believe that this concept might find application in fields as water decontamination and sterilization.


Water Conductive Capillary AC discharge Pump 



The research was partially funded by the Bilateral Scientific and Technological Cooperation Programme between Flanders and the Czech Republic under Contract No. 2004-2005-03 and No. 01S00206 and was partially supported by Grant Agency of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic under Contract No. A1043403.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Filip De Baerdemaeker
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Milan Šimek
    • 1
  • Christophe Leys
    • 2
  • Willy Verstraete
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Plasma PhysicsAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Applied PhysicsGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Laboratory of Microbial Ecology and Technology (LabMET)Ghent UniversityGhentBelgium

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