Nanosecond repetitively pulsed discharges at atmospheric pressure have shown comparatively high performances for CO2 reduction to CO and O2. However, mechanisms of CO2 dissociation in these transNanosecond repetitively pulsed discharges at atmospheric pressure have shown comparatively high performances for CO2 reduction to CO and O2. However, mechanisms of CO2 dissociation in these transient discharges are still a matter of discussion. In the present work, we have used time-resolved optical emission spectroscopy to investigate the CO2 discharge progression from the initial breakdown event to the final post-discharge. We discover a complex temporal structure of the spectrally resolved light, which gives some insights into the underlying electron and chemical kinetics. We could estimate the electron density using the Stark broadening of O and C lines and the electron temperature with C+ and C++ lines. By adding a small amount of nitrogen, we could also monitor the time evolution of the gas temperature using the Second Positive System bands of N2. We conclude that the discharge evolves from a breakdown to a spark phase, the latter being characterised by a peak electron density around 1018 cm−3 and a mean electron temperature around 2 eV. The spark phase offers beneficial conditions for vibrationally enhanced dissociation, which might explain the high CO2 conversion observed in these plasma discharges.
M. Ceppelli*, T.P.W. Salden*, L. M. Martini, G. Dilecce and P. Tosi, Time-Resolved Optical Emission Spectroscopy in CO2 Nanosecond Pulsed Discharges, Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6595/ac2411 (2021).
*M. Ceppelli and T. P. W. Salden have equally contributed to the paper.