We investigate the dynamics of negative surface discharges in air through numerical simulations with a 2D fluid model. A geometry consisting of a flat dielectric embedded between parallel-plate electrodes is used. Compared to negative streamers in bulk gas, negative surface streamers are observed to have a higher electron density, a higher electric field and higher propagation velocity. On the other hand, their maximum electric field and velocity are lower than for positive surface streamers. In our simulations, negative surface streamers are slower for larger relative permittivity. Negative charge accumulates on a dielectric surface when a negative streamer propagates along it, which can lead to a high electric field inside the dielectric. If we initially put negative surface charge on the dielectric, the growth of negative surface discharges is delayed or inhibited. Positive surface charge has the opposite effect.

Surface discharges, Fluid simulation, Negative streamers, Surface charge
IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation
Multiscale Dynamics

Li, X, Sun, A.B, & Teunissen, H.J. (2020). A computational study of negative surface discharges: Characteristics of surface streamers and surface charges. IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, 27(4), 1178–1186. doi:10.1109/TDEI.2020.008880