Controlled microdroplet transport in an atmospheric pressure microplasma

Maguire*, Mahoney, Kelsey, Bingham, Montgomery, Euan D S Bennet, Potts, Rutherford, McDowell, Diver, Mariotti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


We report the controlled injection of near-isolated micron-sized liquid droplets into a low temperature He-Ne steady-state rf plasma at atmospheric pressure. The H2O droplet stream is constrained within a 2 mm diameter quartz tube. Imaging at the tube exit indicates a log-normal droplet size distribution with an initial count mean diameter of 15 μm falling to 13 μm with plasma exposure. The radial velocity profile is approximately parabolic indicating near laminar flow conditions with the majority of droplets travelling at >75% of the local gas speed and having a plasma transit time of <100 μs. The maximum gas temperature, determined from nitrogen spectral lines, was below 400 K and the observed droplet size reduction implies additional factors beyond standard evaporation, including charge and surface chemistry effects. The demonstration of controlled microdroplet streams opens up possibilities for gas-phase microreactors and remote delivery of active species for plasma medicine.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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