Comparison of nanoparticle generation by two plasma techniques: Dielectric barrier discharge and spark discharge

Dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) and spark discharge, two versatile atmospheric pressure plasma-based techniques, have been employed to generate nanoparticles. This study compares the characteristics of metal nanoparticles generated by a DBD reactor and a spark discharge generator with argon as the working gas. The gas temperature in the discharge region of the DBD reactor remained near room temperature, while that of the spark reactor varied from 470 to 1120 K and generally increased with increasing applied voltage amplitude in the range of 2–10 kV and driving frequency in the range of 1–10 kHz. Comparing to spark-generated nanoparticles under the same voltage, frequency, and flow rate, DBD-generated nanoparticles have smaller sizes, better monodispersity, and lower number concentrations. The number concentration of DBD-generated particles decreases significantly under high working voltage and frequency, while the number concentration of spark-generated particles increases with increasing working voltage. Under continuous operations over several hours, the DBD reactor has better temporal stability in generating nanoparticles than the spark generator.

© 2017 American Association for Aerosol Research