Time-resolved characterization of a free plasma jet formed off the surface of a piezoelectric crystal

Jinyu Yang, Seong Kyun Im, David B. Go

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


When a piezoelectric transformer (PT) is actuated by a low input voltage (∼10 V), electromechanical coupling leads to a very high (∼103 V) surface potential at the distal end that can ionize the surrounding gas and lead to a plasma jet emanating from the surface. PTs are attractive for non-equilibrium plasma generation because of their simple operation, low required input voltage, and low power consumption. In this work, the time-resolved characteristics of the free surface plasma jet generated by a PT operating in open air have been investigated. The temporal evolution of the PT-driven plasma was visualized by using an intensified CCD camera and plasma formation was correlated with the current behavior of the plasma jet. Notably, the plasma formation is a discrete process, appearing at a relatively fixed phase of the sinusoidal input, and the strongest plasma jet appears at the end of the positive half-cycle. Simultaneous measurements of the current show that the discharge current response is consistent with the chaotic mode for a plasma jet and appears statistically about a 1 μs earlier than plasma jet light emission, which indicates that there is a strong afterglow. With a low input voltage required for operation, these types of PT-driven plasma jets could have wide utility in emerging plasma applications beyond the laboratory, such as in healthcare and water treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045016
JournalPlasma Sources Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • Free plasma jet
  • Piezoelectric transformer
  • Plasma afterglow
  • Streamer corona

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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