Unlocking the Power of Plasma Chemistry: Understanding Vibrational Kinetics in Nitrogen-Based Plasmas

NCPST researchers are exploring the world of electrifying plasma chemistry. Through the investigation of vibrational kinetics using a 0-dimensional plasma chemical-kinetics modelling approach, the authors examined the behaviour of atmospheric pressure plasmas operating in pure nitrogen. They found that the production of vibrationally excited states is dominated by electron-impact processes at lower average plasma powers, but switches to being dominated by vibrational energy transfer processes at higher average plasma powers.

This switch leads to an increase in the population of vibrational levels, which impacts the wider reaction chemistry. As a result, the discovery opens up possibilities for tailoring nitrogen-containing plasma sources for specific chemical compositions and energy efficiencies. This can be impactful for nitrogen plasma applications, such as those in agricultural and chemical processing.