• X Zhang

Predicting streamer discharge front splitting by ionization seed profiling

Updated: Jul 18, 2019

There has been extensive research on the branching mechanisms of streamer discharges. A consistent link between theories and experiments, which can enable prediction or even control of streamer front splitting, is to be established.

For this, a clearer knowledge of streamer seed profiles needs to be first obtained with the use of specifically designed electrodes and then correlated with the observations of streamer development.

In this work, a 2D deterministic model of negative streamers in air with photo-ionization in an overvolted gap is numerically solved with the ionization seeds assumed as the superposition of Gaussians.

Indicative profile approach

The “indicative profile approach” developed here can reliably relate the change in a quantitative measure of geometrical irregularity of the seed profiles with specific electron densities to the emergence of front splitting of streamer discharges at various voltages, seed characteristic sizes, and preionization levels. The results could inform experiments to clarify streamer branching mechanisms.

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