Numerical investigation of a parallel-plate atmospheric-pressure nitrogen/ammonia dielectric barrier discharge

F. L. Li, K. M. Lin, Y. W. Yang, C. T. Hung, Jong-Shinn Wu*, J. P. Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In this paper, a planar atmospheric-pressure dielectric barrier discharge (AP-DBD) of nitrogen mixed with ammonia (0-2 %) is simulated using one-dimensional self-consistent fluid modeling with cell-centered finite-volume method. This AP-DBD is driven by a 30 kHz power source with distorted sinusoidal voltages. The simulated discharge current densities are found to be in good agreement with the experiment data in both phase and magnitude. The simulated results show that the discharges of N 2 mixed with NH 3 (0-2 %) are all typical Townsend-like discharges because the ions always outnumber the electrons very much which leads to no quasi-neutral region in the gap throughout the cycle. N 2 + and N 4 + are found to be the most abundant charged species during and after the breakdown process, respectively, like a pure nitrogen DBD. NH 4 + increases rapidly initially with increasing addition of NH 3 and levels off eventually. In addition, N is the most dominant neutral species, except the background species, N 2 and NH 3, and NH 2 and H are the second dominant species, which increase with increasing added NH 3. The existence of abundant NH 2 plays an important role in those applications which require functional group incorporation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-564
Number of pages18
JournalPlasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2012


  • Ammonia
  • Atmospheric-pressure dielectric barrier discharge
  • Finite-volume method
  • Fluid modeling
  • Nitrogen
  • Townsend-like discharge


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