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Title: Chiral streamers

The interaction of time-varying electromagnetic fields and solid, liquid, and gaseous matter may lead to electrical breakdown phenomena through the excitation of ionization waves or streamers that control the dynamics of localized plasma propagation through the media. The streamers usually propagate along straight lines, either between random points in space or along a certain direction in a guided mode. Here, we report on a new type of plasma discharges with the regular helical propagation pattern driven by a pulsed dc voltage in nitrogen at sub-atmospheric-pressure conditions. The helical guided streamers, named chiral streamers or chi-streamers, are excited without any external magnetic fields, which commonly cause helical plasma motions. We also demonstrate a hybrid propagation mode involving the interchangeable chiral streamers and the straight-line propagating plasmas. High-speed, time-resolved optical imaging reveals that the chiral streamers and the hybrid patterns are made of spatially localized discrete plasma bullets, similar to the straight-line guided streamers. These results may enable effective control of propagation of confined plasmas and electromagnetic energy along pre-determined, potentially deterministic paths, which have important implications for the development of next-generation plasma-based radiation sources, communication devices, and medical treatments.
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. State Key Laboratory of Advanced Electromagnetic Engineering and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430074 (China)
  2. (China)
  3. School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland 4000 (Australia)
  4. (Australia)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22486486
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 10; Other Information: (c) 2015 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; ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE; ELECTRIC POTENTIAL; ELECTRICAL FAULTS; ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS; EXCITATION; IONIZATION; MAGNETIC FIELDS; NITROGEN; PLASMA; PLASMA WAVES; PULSES; STREAMER SPARK CHAMBERS; TIME DEPENDENCE; TIME RESOLUTION; WAVE PROPAGATION