The use of nanosecond pulse dielectric barrier discharge takes place from the evidence that a repetitive use of ns pulse is more efficient that using an equivalent long pulse. This is due to the fact that a ns pulse prevents the formation of an arc (full conductive plasma channel between the anode and the cathode) regime. It induces a streamer regime (self-limiting channel propagation) characterized by a high voltage drop across the gap and a low current flowing through the electrodes and the discharge gap. In such a way, almost all electric energy is transferred to the discharge itself leading to a more efficient gas ionization and larger plasma density.
While a fluid approach is well suited to reproduce the relevant physical phenomena involving the gas heating (vibrational to translational energy transfer for molecular gas) and relaxation, the plasmadynamic phase and the energy transfer from the external source to electrons has to be solved by a kinetic and self-consistent field-solver approach. In fact due to non-equilibrium plasma condition and non-local, non neutral effects, a more detailed physical model is needed.
This work represents a kinetic simulation based on the particle-based representation to solve the formation and evolution of a streamer in a nanosecond pulse dielectric barrier discharge.