Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) Plasma Generation

My Contribution and Project Overview

I've worked frequently with Dielectric Barrier Discharges (DBDs) for plasma generation. These discharges occur when no direct current path exists between the anode and cathode electrodes due to a dielectric covering one (or both) of them. The gas within this region is exposed to high electric fields and becomes ionized, forming a plasma. The plasma dynamics and chemistry is affected by the characteristics of the electrode arrangement, the gas flow parameters, and the voltage waveform applied to the electrodes. Once generated, these low-temperature plasmas have been used for industrial surface decontamination, wound treatment, space propulsion, and as a catalyst for other plasma-based research.

I've designed and constructed DBDs in a wide variety of geometries: planar, tubular/plasma pencil, point-to-plane, etc, some examples of which can be seen at right. I've explored a wide range of geometric parameters in attempts to optimize plasma production, and most of my experience has been driving DBDs with "pulsed-DC" waveforms, which are those produced by the the nanosecond pulsers at EHT.

I conducted baseline experimental research demonstrating the effectiveness of our plasma jets in killing bacteria, which led to EHT receiving a NASA SBIR (click here for info) to investigate optimizations of our DBD/pulser combination for sanitizing satellites prior to launch.

In addition, I contributed to the design and research into a space propulsion concept thruster, which is now in the provisional stage of being patented (Serial No: 62/156.710, Pulser Driven Thruster).

Skills Demonstrated/Gained

  • High-voltage/frequency measurements
  • High-frequency precision measurements
  • Electrode and DBD design / plasma generation
  • Plasma Chemistry

Various DBD Experiments