Skip to Main Content
Atmospheric-pressure methane-hydrogen micro glow discharges were computationally investigated using a 2-D hybrid model. The plasma model was solved simultaneously with a model for the external circuit. Simulations were conducted for a pin-to-plate electrode configuration with an interelectrode separation of 400 ??m. The spatiotemporal evolutions of electrons, species densities, electric field, and electron and gas temperatures were studied. A total of 81 reactions were considered, which included electron-neutral, electron-ion, ion-neutral, and neutral-neutral reactions. An 84-step reaction mechanism consisting of 15 surface species and four deposited bulk species was considered. A time-stepping technique was employed to address the time scales of plasma transport (in microseconds) and neutral and fluid transport (in milliseconds) in 2-D simulations with detailed volume and surface chemistry. The simulations indicated H3 + and CH5 + ions to be the most prominent hydrogen and hydrocarbon ions. The gas temperature predictions suggested the discharge to be operating as a nonthermal glow discharge. The effect of discharge current on both plasma and deposition characteristics was studied. The simulations predicted a flat voltage-current characteristic, indicating the discharge to be operating in normal glow mode. The predicted voltage-current characteristic was found to be in favorable agreement with the experimental measurements. With an increase in discharge current, the deposition rate profile expanded in the lateral direction, suggesting that deposition occurred at the cathode spot.