Contrasting the characteristics of atmospheric pressure plasma jets operated with single and double dielectric material: physicochemical characteristics and application to bacterial killing


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Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics


This study reports an experimental comparison of two types of atmospheric pressure plasma jets in terms of their fundamental plasma characteristics and efficacy in bacterial sterilization. The plasma jets are fabricated by inserting a high voltage electrode inside a one-end closed (double DBD plasma jet) or both ends open (single DBD plasma jet) quartz tubes which are further enclosed inside a second quartz tube containing a ground electrode. Both plasma jets are operated in contact with water surface by using a unipolar pulsed DC power supply with helium as the working gas. Results from electrical and time-resolved imaging show that the single DBD configuration induces 3–4 times higher accumulation of charges onto the water surface with significantly faster propagation of plasma bullets. These results are accompanied by the higher discharge intensity as well as stronger emissions from short-lived reactive species which were analyzed through optical emission spectroscopy at the plasma-water interface. The rotational temperature for the single DBD configuration was observed to be higher making it unsafe for direct treatments of sensitive biological targets. These characteristics of the single DBD configuration result in the production of more than two times higher concentration of H2O2 in plasma activated water. Shielding of the HV electrode reduces the plasma potential which in turn reduces the electric field & electron energy at the plasma-water interface. The reduced electric field for the double DBD configuration was lower by ≈463 Td than the single DBD configuration. The bactericidal efficacy of the two configurations of the plasma jets were tested against Escherichia coli, a well studied Gram-negative bacterium that can be commensal and pathogenic in human body. Our results demonstrate that although single DBD plasma jet result in stronger antibacterial effects, the double DBD configuration could be safer.


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