We investigate the formation of steady gas flows-so-called electric winds-created by point-plane corona discharges driven by time oscillating (ac) electric fields. By varying the magnitude and frequency of the applied field, we identify two distinct scaling regimes: (i) a low frequency (dc) regime and (ii) a high frequency (ac) regime. These experimental observations are reproduced and explained by a theoretical model describing the transport and recombination of ions surrounding the discharge and their contribution to the measured wind velocity. The two regimes differ in the spatial distribution of ions and in the process by which ions are consumed. Interestingly, we find that ac corona discharges generate strong electric forces localized near the tip of the point electrode, while dc corona discharges generate weaker forces distributed throughout the interelectrode region. Consequently, the velocity of the electric winds (>1 m/s) generated by ac discharges is largely independent of the position of the counter electrode. The unified theoretical description of dc and ac electric winds presented here reconciles previous observations of winds driven by dc corona and ac dielectric barrier discharges; insights from the model should also prove useful in the design of other plasma actuators. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.
Electric winds driven by time oscillating corona discharges / Drews, AM; Cademartiri, L; Whitesides, GM; Bishop, KJM. - In: JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS. - ISSN 0021-8979. - 114:14(2013). [10.1063/1.4824748]
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