Design and electrical characteristics of a modular plasma torch

Spencer P. Kuo, Edward Koretzky, Lester Orlick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A modular system for constructing an atmospheric pressure plasma source is presented and studied. The design and construction of the plasma torch module by modifying and reassembling the structural components of two different models of spark plugs are first described. Each module can produce a torch plasma of 1 cm radius and 6 cm height and having a peak density exceeding 1013 cm-3. A set of modules, each connected in series with a ballasting capacitor in the circuit, can be operated as an array sharing a common power source to produce a dense and large-volume plasma. The electrical characteristics of the module are studied for the case of a single module and two capacitively coupled modules. The discharge can be maintained, with the aid of ballasting capacitors, in a stable diffuse arc. Furthermore, the coupled discharges in an array of modules are operated with the maximum power efficiency as indicated by a near one power factor seen by the power line.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)752-758
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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