Document Type



This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only


1.3 PHYSICAL SCIENCES, Atomic, Molecular and Chemical Physics, Condensed matter physics, Fluids and plasma physics, Acoustics, Electrical and electronic engineering

Publication Details

Review of scientific instruments 79, 094707 (2008);


The development of a handheld single and triple chamber atmospheric pressure coaxial dielectric barrier discharge driven by Flyback circuitry for helium and argon discharges is described. The Flyback uses external metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor power switching technology and the transformer operates in the continuous current mode to convert a continuous dc power of 10–33 W to generate a 1.2–1.6 kV 3.5 μs pulse. An argon discharge breakdown voltage of ∼768 V is measured. With a 50 kHz, pulse repetition rate and an argon flow rate of 0.5–10 argon slm (slm denotes standard liters per minute), the electrical power density deposited in the volume discharge increases linearly at a rate of 75±20% mW/cm3 per 1 slm of gas. Electrical power transfer efficiency between the secondary Flyback coil and the discharge volume increases from 0.1% to 0.65%. Neutral argon gas forced convection analysis yields a similar energy loss rate to the electrical discharge process. Optical emission spectroscopy studies of the expanding discharge plume into ambient air reveal that the air climatically controls the plume chemistry to produce an abundance of neutral argon atoms and molecular nitrogen.