Influence of Glow and Afterglow Times on the Discharge Current of Argon at Low Pressure




Afterglow time, Argon Plasma, Discharge current, Glow time, Square discharge voltage


     An experimental investigation of the variation of argon discharge current with a glow and afterglow time intervals of a square discharge voltage was carried out at low pressure (6-11 mbar). The discharge was created between two circular metal electrodes of diameter (7.5 cm), separated horizontally by a distance (10 cm) at the two ends of a Pyrex cylindrical tube. A composite of two Gaussian functions has been suggested to fit and explain the variation graphs clearly. It is shown that the necessary times of glow and afterglow needed to attain a maximum discharge current are (70 us) and (60 us), respectively. The discharge current is observed to drop to the lowest value when the two times are serially longer than (85 us) and (72 us). Furthermore, the difference between the two times required to obtain a maximum rate of change in the discharge current, or a maximum discharge current, is deduced to be comparable to the breakdown time delay of gases reported in the literature. These observations can be useful for the design of plasma devices requiring specialized engineering.


Download data is not yet available.


Raizer Y P. Gas discharge physics Corrected edition. Springer. 2001: 128-138.

Braithwaite N S J. Introduction to gas discharge. Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. 2000; 9(4):517.

Dutton J, C Haydon S C, Jones F L. Formative time lags in the electrical breakdown of gases. Br J Appl Phys. 2002; 4(6):170.

Xiaotong C, Jing H, Ruixue Z, Weijie H, Yulei F, Wansheng Z. Dependence of pre-breakdown time on ionization processes in a pseudo spark discharge. AIP Adv. 2017; 7 115005.

Suzana N S, Vidosav L M, Aleksandar P J, Marjan N S. Voltage Dependent models of the formative time delay in argon. FU Phys Chem Tech. 2017; 15 (2): 81–93.

Milic P, Momcilo M P, Koviljka S. Physico-Chemical Processes Induced by Electrical Breakdown and Discharge Responsible for Memory Effect in Krypton with, Plasma Chem Plasma Process. 2018; 38(2).

Cedomir I B, Koviljka D S, Milic M P, Predrag V O. The Influence of the Magnetic Field on DC and the Impulse Breakdown of Noble Gases. Materials. 2019; 12 752.

Milic P, Momcilo P, Cedomir B, Koviljka S. Separation of vacuum and gas breakdown processes in argon and their influence onelectrical breakdown time delay. Vacuum. 2020; 173 109151.

Irina V S, Matthew H, Barnat E V, Michael K. Controlling the breakdown delay time in pulsed gas discharge. Plasma Sources Sci Technol. 2021; DOI:10.1088/1361-6595/ac417a.

Emilija Z, Marija Z, Milic P. The evolution of breakdown voltage and delay time under high overvoltage for different types of surge arresters. FU Elec Energ: Electronics and Energetics. 2021; 34(2): 307-322.

Irina S, Matthew H, Barnat E, Michael K. Theoretical and experimental study of breakdown delay time in pulse discharge. IEEE Xplore. 29th International Symposium on Discharges and Electrical Insulation in Vacuum. 2021.

Marjan S, Aleksandar P J, Markovic V L, Stamenkovic S N. Conversion of an atomic to a molecular argon ion and low pressure argon relaxation. Chin Phys B. 2016; 25(1):015204.

Fan G, Shi H, Wei J, Junna L, Zhiqiang C, Yanzhao X. Experimental Study on Breakdown Time Delay of Hundreds of Nanoseconds Pulse Under Different du/dt for mm Gaps. IEEE Trans Plasma Sci. 2019; 47 (10): 4579 – 4583.

Woolsey G A, Ogle D B. Statistical time lags in low‐pressure SF6 breakdown. J Appl Phys. 1989; 66 2920.

Van Brunt R J, Glahn P V. Anomalous stochastic behavior of partial discharge on aluminum oxide surfaces. J Appl Phys. 1997; 81 840.

Kudrle V, LeDuc E, Fitaire M. Breakdown delay times and memory effects in helium at low pressure. J Phys D: Appl. Phys. 1999; 32 16.

Dmitry L, Robert R. A, Vladimir I. K. Modified Paschen curves for pulsed breakdown. J Plasma Phys. 2019; 26 064502.

Dohnal P, Rubovic P, Kotrik T, Plasil R, Glosík J. Recombination in He/Ar Afterglow Plasma at Low Temperatures. WDS12 Proceedings of Contributed Papers. 2012; Part II: 18–24.

Salamov B G, Kasap M, Lebedeva N N. Prebreakdown current behaviour in the ionization cell with a semiconductor cathode. J. Phys. D: Appl Phys. 2000; 33: 2192–2195.

Barrett S F, Pack D J. Microcontrollers Fundamentals for Engineers and Scientists. Morgan & Claypool Publishers, 1st ed. 2006.

Waleed I Y. Study of DC Breakdown Voltage in Low Pressure Argon and Nitrogen Gases for Several Electrode Gap. ANJS. 2017; 20 (1) 89-92.

Hassouba M A, Elakshar F F, Garamoon A A. Measurements of the breakdown potentials for different cathode materials in the Townsend discharge. Fizika A. 2002; A 11 (2): 81–90.

Yangyang Fu, Peng Z, John P. V, Xinxin W. Electrical breakdown from macro to micro/nano scales: A tutorial and a review of the state of the art. Plasma Res Express. 2020; 2)1): 013001.

Vedder J D. An invertible approximation to the normal distribution function. Computational Statistics & Data Analysis. 1993; 16 (1): 119-123.

Sarah K T, Sabah N M, Mohammed K K. A Comparative Study on the Electrical Characteristics of Generating Plasma by Using Different Target Sources. Baghdad Sci J. 2018; 15(2): 436-440.

Abdulretha S H, Ala FA, Abdalhasen A K. Impedance Characteristics of Pulsed Atmospheric Electrical Discharge in Spherical Plasma Switch. Baghdad Sci J. 2011; 8(2): 630-637.