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Title: Photoionization in negative streamers: Fast computations and two propagation modes

Abstract

Streamer discharges play a central role in electric breakdown of matter in pulsed electric fields, both in nature and in technology. Reliable and fast computations of the minimal model for negative streamers in simple gases such as nitrogen have recently been developed. However, photoionization was not included; it is important in air and poses a major numerical challenge. The authors here introduce a fast and reliable method to include photoionization into our numerical scheme with adaptive grids, and they discuss its importance for negative streamers. In particular, they identify different propagation regimes where photoionization does or does not play a role.0.

Authors:
; ; ;  [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. CWI, P.O. Box 94079, 1090 GB Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  2. (Netherlands) and Department of Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology, Den Dolech 2, 5612 AZ Eindhoven (Netherlands)
  3. (Netherlands)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20971836
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 90; Journal Issue: 8; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.2435934; (c) 2007 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; AIR; CALCULATION METHODS; ELECTRIC FIELDS; NITROGEN; NUMERICAL ANALYSIS; PHOTOIONIZATION

Citation Formats

Luque, Alejandro, Ebert, Ute, Montijn, Carolynne, Hundsdorfer, Willem, CWI, P.O. Box 94079, 1090 GB Amsterdam, and CWI, P.O. Box 94079, 1090 GB Amsterdam. Photoionization in negative streamers: Fast computations and two propagation modes. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1063/1.2435934.
Luque, Alejandro, Ebert, Ute, Montijn, Carolynne, Hundsdorfer, Willem, CWI, P.O. Box 94079, 1090 GB Amsterdam, & CWI, P.O. Box 94079, 1090 GB Amsterdam. Photoionization in negative streamers: Fast computations and two propagation modes. United States. doi:10.1063/1.2435934.
Luque, Alejandro, Ebert, Ute, Montijn, Carolynne, Hundsdorfer, Willem, CWI, P.O. Box 94079, 1090 GB Amsterdam, and CWI, P.O. Box 94079, 1090 GB Amsterdam. Mon . "Photoionization in negative streamers: Fast computations and two propagation modes". United States. doi:10.1063/1.2435934.
@article{osti_20971836,
title = {Photoionization in negative streamers: Fast computations and two propagation modes},
author = {Luque, Alejandro and Ebert, Ute and Montijn, Carolynne and Hundsdorfer, Willem and CWI, P.O. Box 94079, 1090 GB Amsterdam and CWI, P.O. Box 94079, 1090 GB Amsterdam},
abstractNote = {Streamer discharges play a central role in electric breakdown of matter in pulsed electric fields, both in nature and in technology. Reliable and fast computations of the minimal model for negative streamers in simple gases such as nitrogen have recently been developed. However, photoionization was not included; it is important in air and poses a major numerical challenge. The authors here introduce a fast and reliable method to include photoionization into our numerical scheme with adaptive grids, and they discuss its importance for negative streamers. In particular, they identify different propagation regimes where photoionization does or does not play a role.0.},
doi = {10.1063/1.2435934},
journal = {Applied Physics Letters},
number = 8,
volume = 90,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Feb 19 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Feb 19 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}
  • The basic properties of self-quenching streamers in a proportional counter with a thick anode wire are investigated. In particular, the influence of mixing benzene and triethylamine with agron-isobutane mixtures is studied regarding thresholds for streamer production, pulse shapes and dead time. There is a lowering of the high voltage threshold for streamer production associated with low concentrations of triethylamine and benzene. Higher concentrations of benzene increase that threshold. Triethylamine leads to narrower pulses. Stable operation is observed for a much broader range of high voltages than in the absence of photoionization vapours.
  • Recent advances in development of photoionization models in air based on radiative transfer and Helmholtz equations open new perspectives for efficient solution of nonthermal gas discharge problems involving complex geometries. Many practical applications require accurate modeling of streamer discharges developing in weak electric fields, in which the photoionization process significantly contributes to discharge dynamics. This paper (1) reports original studies, which demonstrate the validity and accuracy of the recently proposed photoionization models for studies of streamers in weak electric fields, and (2) introduces efficient boundary conditions for the photoinization models based on radiative transfer theory.
  • The evolution of negative streamers during electric breakdown of a non-attaching gas can be described by a two-fluid model for electrons and positive ions. It consists of continuity equations for the charged particles including drift, diffusion and reaction in the local electric field, coupled to the Poisson equation for the electric potential. The model generates field enhancement and steep propagating ionization fronts at the tip of growing ionized filaments. An adaptive grid refinement method for the simulation of these structures is presented. It uses finite volume spatial discretizations and explicit time stepping, which allows the decoupling of the grids formore » the continuity equations from those for the Poisson equation. Standard refinement methods in which the refinement criterion is based on local error monitors fail due to the pulled character of the streamer front that propagates into a linearly unstable state. We present a refinement method which deals with all these features. Tests on one-dimensional streamer fronts as well as on three-dimensional streamers with cylindrical symmetry (hence effectively 2D for numerical purposes) are carried out successfully. Results on fine grids are presented, they show that such an adaptive grid method is needed to capture the streamer characteristics well. This refinement strategy enables us to adequately compute negative streamers in pure gases in the parameter regime where a physical instability appears: branching streamers.« less
  • The propagation of streamers in air, and the precision with which their properties can be measured, are discussed. The effects of an insulating surface on the growth of avalanches is reviewed; it is evident that electron emission by photon bombardment of the surface is a significant mechanism. The development of corona on surfaces is discussed. Recent experiments on streamer growth, in the absence of significant space charge, are described. It is concluded, from all the evidence, that each material has an individual, characteristic, effect on the growth of avalanches and streamers. {copyright} {ital 1996 American Institute of Physics.}