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Keywords:

  • liquid plasmas;
  • modeling;
  • pulsed discharges;
  • thermodynamics

Abstract

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The formation of vapor layers around an electrode immersed in a conducting liquid prior to generation of a plasma discharge is studied using numerical simulations. This study quantifies and explains the effects of the electrode geometry and applied voltage pulses, as well as the electrical and thermal properties of the liquids on the temporal dynamics of the pre-breakdown conditions in the vapor layer. This model agrees well with experimental data, in particular, the time needed to reach the electrical breakdown threshold. Because the time needed for discharge ignition can be accurately predicted from the model, the parameters such as the pulse shape, voltage, and electrode configuration can be optimized under different liquid conditions, which facilitates a faster and more energy-efficient plasma generation.