Electrical and optical characteristics of water under high electric stress

S. Katsuki, R. P. Joshi, M. Laroussi, F. Leipold, K. H. Schoenbach

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In order to determine the electrical characteristics of water under high electric stress, we have measured the current-electric field (I-E) characteristics of distilled water with a resistivity of 200 kΩcm, up to electric field intensities of 1 MV/cm. The gap between a 1.7 mm diameter sphere and a plane stainless steel electrodes was varied between 50 μm to 400 μm. Voltage pulses with duration of 200 ns and amplitude of up to 40 kV, provided by a 50 Ω Blumlein generator, were applied to the electrodes. In addition, measurements of changes in the index of refraction of distilled water under high electric stress were performed, using laser Schlieren method and Mach-Zehnder interferometry with a temporal resolution of one nanosecond. With the electric fields in excess of 500 kV/cm the increase in the current was found to be super linear. This is in accordance with the general I-E characteristics for polar liquids. Optical measurements at average electric fields of up to 1 MV/cm revealed that a layer with decreased index of refraction emerges from the surface of the spherical electrode, which serves as anode. Shifting of the fringes is observed even after the voltage pulse ends. This might be an indication of change in composition of water after voltage applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-470
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Conference Record of Power Modulator Symposium
StatePublished - 2002
EventConference Record of the Twenty-Fifth International Power Modulator Symposium and 2002 High-Voltage Workshop - Hollywood, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 30 2002Jul 3 2002


Dive into the research topics of 'Electrical and optical characteristics of water under high electric stress'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this