Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 327–335 | Cite as

Methane Decomposition Leading to Deposit Formation in a DC Positive CH4–N2 Corona Discharge

  • G. HorvathEmail author
  • M. Zahoran
  • N. J. Mason
  • S. Matejcik
Original Paper


We have explored the formation of chemical species produced in a positive coaxial corona discharge fed by a mixture of N2 and CH4 at atmospheric pressure and ambient temperature. Gaseous products were detected by IR spectroscopy whilst solid products, deposited on the electrodes, were examined using Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis. The temporal evolution of gaseous products C2H2, HCN and C2H6 are also reported. These results may assist in the interpretation of results from the recent Cassini Huygens space mission as they may provide a simulation of the chemical processes occuring in Titan’s atmosphere.


CH4–N2 corona discharge FTIR spectroscopy SEM–EDS spectroscopy Deposit 



This research project was supported by: The Slovak Grant Agency, Slovak Research and Development Agency, Grant UK/381/2009 and UK/140/2010, VEGA 1/0051/08, project SK-CN-0029-07, APVV 0365-07, ESF COST Actions CM0601, CM0805; EUROPLANET TNA2 programme and EIPAM.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Horvath
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • M. Zahoran
    • 1
  • N. J. Mason
    • 2
  • S. Matejcik
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental PhysicsComenius UniversityBratislavaSlovakia
  2. 2.Department of Physics and AstronomyThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

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