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The effect of seed electrons on the repeatability of atmospheric pressure plasma plume propagation: I. Experiment
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One of the significant differences between the traditional streamers and the plasma jets is the repeatability of their propagation. In this paper, the effect of the seed electron density on the repeatability of the plasma jets is investigated. The seed electron density plays an essential role in the propagation of plasma plume which is in either repeatable mode or random mode depending on the frequency of the applied voltage and the mixture percentage of the working gas. By measuring the propagation velocities and the ignition delay time, it is found that the propagation velocities of the plasma plume are independent of the seed electron density. However, the jitter of the ignition delay time strongly depends on the frequency of the applied voltage and the mixture percentage of the working gas. After detailed analyzing of the experiment results, it is concluded that the minimum seed electron density required for the plasma bullet to propagate in repeatable mode is on the order of 108 cm−3 for gas pressure of 2 × 104 Pa. The minimum required seed electron density for the gas pressure of 4 × 103 Pa is on the order of 107 cm−3. Further analysis shows that, at one atmospheric pressure, the required minimum seed electron density for repeatable mode is on the order of 109 cm−3.
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