Self-pulsing discharges in pre-heated air at atmospheric pressure

Mário Janda, Zdenko Machala, Lukáš Dvonč, Deanna Lacoste, Christophe O. Laux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The paper presents investigations of self-pulsing discharges in atmospheric pressure air pre-heated to 300-1000 K. Despite using a direct-current power supply, two self-pulsing discharge regimes, a repetitive transient spark (TS) and a repetitive streamer (RS) were generated. The pulse repetition frequency, on the order of a few kHz, can be controlled by adjusting the generator voltage. The TS is a discharge initiated by a streamer, followed by a short (tens of ns) spark current pulse (∼1 A), associated with the total discharging of the internal capacity of the electric circuit. The TS is suitable for the study of 'memory' effects (pre-heating, pre-ionization) on the mechanisms of streamer-to-spark transition and electrical breakdown in atmospheric pressure air. The TS regime was stable below ∼600 K. Above ∼600 K, a stable repetitive streamer (RS) regime was observed. In this regime, the breakdown and spark did not occur. After the initial streamer, the internal capacity of the electrical circuit discharged partially. With further pre-heating of the gas, the stable TS appeared again at ∼1000 K.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number035201
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 28 2015


  • Breakdown mechanism
  • Self-pulsing discharges
  • Transient spark

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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