Study of non-equilibrium plasma streamer discharges in high pressure molecular gases
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A study of streamer discharge properties in the context of their applications in: large-gap arc breakdown, and plasma reforming of carbon-dioxide is presented. The first part of this work focused on the characterization and optimization of volume streamers for reforming applications in carbon dioxide. In the second part of this work the dynamics of surface streamer discharges were investigated, and their application as a non-intrusive fuse wire to breakdown a large-gap which ultimately results in an arc discharge. Both the non-equilibrium surface streamer discharge and the subsequent arc discharge were characterized by instantaneous broadband imaging, wide-band optical emission spectroscopy (OES), and voltage-current (VI) characteristics. In addition to the diagnostics described above, instantaneous narrowband imaging and a two-dimensional plasma fluid model were used to characterize the volume streamer discharges in carbon dioxide.