Scalings and universality for high-frequency excited high-pressure argon microplasma

  • Min Uk Lee
  • Jimo Lee
  • Gunsu S. Yun
  • Jae Koo Lee
Regular Article


The breakdown transition mechanism, scaling law for transition frequency, and universal law for breakdown voltage of a Ramsauer gas Ar with various ranges of neutral gas pressure and micron gap distance between parallel electrodes are examined. The electron kinetics in argon gas is analyzed to understand the reason of the abrupt transition of breakdown voltage partitioning γ- and α-regimes. The quiver motion of electron in high frequency source implies that the breakdown voltage drastically drops when the oscillating amplitude of an electron becomes smaller than its critical value. The scaling law, which reveals that the transition frequency is inversely proportional to the neutral gas pressure and the gap distance to the fractional power, supports the conjecture about the transition mechanism, and this is confirmed by particle-in-cell incorporating Monte Carlo collision (PIC/MCC) simulations. Breakdown voltage as a function of the product of the neutral gas pressure and gap distance, the ratio of the driving frequency and neutral gas pressure, secondary electron emission coefficient induced by the ion bombardment, and the ratio of gap distance over the radius of electrodes is expressed by the universal law which, as well, are confirmed by the PIC/MCC and fluid simulations. Furthermore, no universality is observed at the plasma size of 3 μm with field emission under diversified neutral gas pressure.

Graphical abstract


Plasma Physics 

Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Advanced Nuclear Engineering, Pohang University of Science and TechnologyPohangRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsPohang University of Science and TechnologyPohangRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Center for Attosecond Science, Max Planck POSTECH/Korea Research Initiative (MPK)PohangRepublic of Korea

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