Voltage–current characteristics of low pressure discharges in vapors of several alcohols

Jelena Marjanović, Dragana Marić, Gordana Malović, Zoran Petrović

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In this paper, we present the results for voltage–current (V–i) characteristics of dc low-pressure low to moderate current discharges in vapors of alcohols: methanol, ethanol, isopropanol, and n-butanol vapors. These electrical measurements are supported by optical recordings of axial emission profiles from low-current to high-current regimes. The voltage–current characteristics and the corresponding distribution of emission intensities were typically recorded for two pd values, in the left-hand branch of the Paschen curve (0.15 Torr cm) and in the minimum of the Paschen curves (ranging from 0.30 to 0.40 Torr cm for different alcohols selected here). In the recorded V–i characteristics, the different discharge regimes of discharge operation are easily distinguished. Axial profiles of emitted light from the low-current to high-current regimes reveal that heavy particles make up a significant contribution to excitation part in alcohol vapor discharges. In the region of transition from normal to abnormal glow in the methanol vapor discharge, sudden changes of the regime of operation were observed and several diagnostic techniques have been applied to them.
Original languageEnglish
Article number143303
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number14
Early online date12 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 12 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge support from the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development under Project Nos. OI 171037 and III 41011. Z.Lj.P. is grateful to the SASA project 155 and to the Ulster University for partial support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Author(s).

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • gas discharges
  • breakdown
  • alcohols
  • voltage current characteristics
  • Townsends regime


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