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Mass spectrometric investigation of the ionic species in a dielectric barrier discharge operating in helium-water vapour mixtures

Abd-Allah, Z and Sawtell, DAG and McKay, K and West, GT and Kelly, PJ and Bradley, JW (2015) Mass spectrometric investigation of the ionic species in a dielectric barrier discharge operating in helium-water vapour mixtures. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 48. ISSN 0022-3727

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Abstract

Using advanced mass spectrometry the chemistry of ionic species present in an atmospheric-pressure parallel plate dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) with a single dielectric on the powered electrode have been identified. The discharge was driven in helium with controllable concentrations of water vapour using an excitation frequency of 10 kHz and an applied voltage of 1.2 kV. Both negative and positive ions were identified and their relative intensity determined with variation of water concentration in the discharge, inter-electrode spacing, gas residence time and nominal applied power. The most abundant negative ions were of the family , while the positive ions were dominated by those of the form , with n up to 9 in both cases. Negative and positive ions responded in a similar way to changes in the operating parameters, with the particular response depending on the ion mass. Increasing the inter-electrode spacing and the water concentration in the discharge led to an increase in the intensity of large mass ionic water clusters. However, increasing the residence time of the species in the plasma region and increasing the applied power resulted in fragmentation of large water clusters to produce smaller ions.

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