Numerical study of breakdown pattern induced by an intense microwave under nitrogen and argon gases

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Filamentary plasma induced by microwave beam irradiation was reproduced in nitrogen and argon by combining fluid or particle plasma models with electromagnetic wave propagation. Transport coefficients used in the fluid model are estimated from particle simulation to maintain consistency of the breakdown structure between the fluid and particle models. A discrete structure was obtained using the one-dimensional (1D) fluid model, because a standing wave is generated in front of the plasma when the incident microwave beam is reflected by the overcritical plasma, which agrees with the breakdown structure obtained using the 1D particle model. A 2D plasma filament was also reproduced using the fluid model in nitrogen and argon. Reflection of the incident microwave in argon becomes stronger than that in nitrogen because of the denser argon plasma. Change in filament shape is induced in argon because the electric field is deformed at the plasma tip owing to stronger wave reflection from the neighboring filament. The propagation speed of the plasma front becomes larger in argon breakdown because of the larger ionization frequency and the larger diffusion coefficient.

Original languageEnglish
Article number07LD02
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics
Issue number7S2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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