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Numerical Simulation of Townsend Discharge, Paschen Breakdown and Dielectric Barrier Discharges

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Practical understanding of electrical discharges between conductors or between conductors and dielectrics is instrumental for the development of novel charging devices for Digital Printing Applications. The work presented on this paper focuses on fundamental aspects related to the inception of electrical discharges and breakdown in the initial stages (few 100's of μs) to a detail hard to match with experimental techniques. Numerical simulations of 1-D Townsend and Dielectric Barrier Discharges (DBDs) are performed using a commercial Finite Element package (COMSOL). A combined fluid model for the electron and Ion fluxes is used together with a local field approximation on a 1-D domain comprised of Nitrogen gas. The renowned Paschen breakdown result is successfully predicted numerically. Results are shown for the transient Townsend discharge that leads to this breakdown offering insight into the positive feedback mechanism that enables it. These transient results show how impact ionization combined with cathode secondary emission generate increasing waves of positive ions that drift towards the cathode again self feeding the discharge process. The simulation is then extended to predict the nature of a DBD in the case of a single voltage pulse.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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