Ignition of a Microcavity Plasma Array

Alexander Wollny, Torben Hemke, Markus Gebhardt, Ralf Peter Brinkmann, Thomas Mussenbrock

IEEE Tran­sac­tions on Plas­ma Sci­ence 39, 2684 (2011)


Microcavity plasma arrays are regular arrays of inverse pyramidal cavities created on positively doped silicon wafers. Each cavity acts as a microscopic dielectric barrier discharge. It has an opening of 50 µm × 50 µm and a depth of 45 µm. The separation of the cavities is 50 µm. Operated at atmospheric pressure in argon and excited with a 100-kHz RF voltage, each cavity develops a localized microplasma. Experiments show a strong interaction of the individual cavities, leading, for example, to the propagation of ionization waves along the array surface. This paper studies the ignition of a microcavity plasma array by means of a numerical simulation. The propagation of an ionization wave is observed. Its propagation speed matches experimental findings.


Tags: Atmospheric plasmas, Ionization Wave, Micro Cavity Plasma Array, plasma–plasma interaction