Fundamental investigation of unipolar and RF corona in atmospheric air

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Unipolar (DC) and radio frequency (RF) corona at 3.3 MHz is studied at centimeter-sized gaps in a needle-plane geometry in atmospheric air at room temperature. Positive and negative corona using pure tungsten electrodes with varying tip angles revealed a lower onset voltage for the needle with the smaller included angle. The RF corona onset voltage and corresponding time delay were measured for a series of needles composed of pure tungsten or 2% lanthanated tungsten. The corona onset, established when the first instance of UV photon emission is detected via photomultiplier tube, occurred primarily during the negative half cycle of the applied RF voltage for pure tungsten needles. In contrast, with lanthanated tungsten needles, such preference was not observed. No distinguishable difference in onset voltage between pure tungsten and lanthanated tungsten was found, indicating that adding a small amount of lanthanum to tungsten has a negligible impact on the onset voltage at 3.3 MHz frequencies for electrodes at room temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123502
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


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