AIP Digital Archive
The atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ) [A. Schütze et al., IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci. 26, 1685 (1998)] is a nonthermal, high pressure, uniform glow plasma discharge that produces a high velocity effluent stream of highly reactive chemical species. The discharge operates on a feedstock gas (e.g., He/O2/H2O), which flows between an outer, grounded, cylindrical electrode and an inner, coaxial electrode powered at 13.56 MHz rf. While passing through the plasma, the feedgas becomes excited, dissociated or ionized by electron impact. Once the gas exits the discharge volume, ions and electrons are rapidly lost by recombination, but the fast-flowing effluent still contains neutral metastable species (e.g., O2*, He*) and radicals (e.g., O, OH). This reactive effluent has been shown to be an effective neutralizer of surrogates for anthrax spores and mustard blister agent. Unlike conventional wet decontamination methods, the plasma effluent does not cause corrosion and it does not destroy wiring, electronics, or most plastics, making it highly suitable for decontamination of sensitive equipment and interior spaces. Furthermore, the reactive species in the effluent rapidly degrade into harmless products leaving no lingering residue or harmful by-products. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.
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