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Title: Physical mechanisms of self-organization and formation of current patterns in gas discharges of the Townsend and glow types

The paper discusses current filamentation and formation of current structures (in particular, hexagonal current patterns) in discharges of the Townsend and glow types. The aim of the paper, which is in part a review, is to reveal basic reasons for formation of current patterns in different cases, namely, in dielectric barrier discharge, discharge with semiconductor cathode, and micro-discharge between metallic electrodes. Pursuing this goal, we give a very brief review of observations and discuss only those theoretical, computational, and experimental papers that shed light on the physical mechanisms involved. The mechanisms are under weak currents—the thermal expansion of the gas as a result of Joule heating; under enhanced currents—the electric field and ionization rate redistribution induced by space charge. Both mechanisms lead to instability of the homogeneous discharges. In addition, we present new results of numerical simulations of observed short-living current filaments which are chaotic in space and time.
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Institute for Problems in Mechanics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 119526 (Russian Federation)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22218482
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 10; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; CATHODES; CHAOS THEORY; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; DIELECTRIC MATERIALS; ELECTRIC FIELDS; GLOW DISCHARGES; JOULE HEATING; NUMERICAL ANALYSIS; PLASMA; PLASMA INSTABILITY; PLASMA SIMULATION; SPACE CHARGE; THERMAL EXPANSION; TOWNSEND DISCHARGE; VISIBLE RADIATION