Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology
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17489 Greifswald
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The Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology (INP) is the largest non-university institute in the field of low temperature plasmas, their basics and technical applications in Europe. The institute carries out research and development from idea to prototype. The topics focus on the needs of the market. At present, plasmas for materials and energy as well as for environment and health are the focus of interest.

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Unified modelling of low-current short-length arcs between copper electrodes

In this work we present for the first time a unified model of a low-current short-length arc between copper electrodes. The model employs one-dimensional fluid description of the plasma in argon and copper vapour at atmospheric pressure and the heat transfer in the electrodes made of copper. The solution of the particle and energy conservation of electrons and heavy particles is coupled with the solution of the Poisson equation, from which the self-consistent electric field is obtained. The operation of the non-refractory cathode is based on thermo-field emission. Heat fluxes from the plasma to the electrodes are considered so that a phase change and evaporation from the cathode and a release of copper atoms into the plasma are taken into account. The influence of the copper atoms and ions on the plasma properties is analysed and discussed. The model's predictions are compared with experimental data and a qualitative agreement is obtained besides the restrictions of the one-dimensional fluid model.

Release Date
Permanent Identifier (DOI)
Permanent Identifier (URI)
Is supplementing
Plasma Source Name
Plasma Source Specification
Plasma Source Properties

Electrodes made of copper, cylindrical rods with a length of 20 mm and a radius of 2 mm. The arc is ignited in argon (laminar flow with a flow rate of 6.5 slm) at atmopsheric pressure. Arc current 3.5 A. Copper atoms enter the plasma due to melting of the electrodes.

Plasma Medium Name
Plasma Medium Properties

The plasma is in non-equilibrium.

Plasma Diagnostics Name
Plasma Diagnostics Properties

A monochromator (MDR-12) with a CCD linear image sensor (B/W) (3000-pixels, Sony ILX526A) provides a fast scan of the spatial distribution of the radial intensity.

Plasma Diagnostics Procedure

Integration over the wavelength interval is performed and the side-on observations are transformed via Abel inversion to give the radial dependence of the emission coefficient. The Boltzmann plot technique is applied to determine the excitation temperature.

Public Access Level
Contact Name
Baeva, Margarita
Contact Email

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