We show how to levitate a liquid droplet above a plasma. Submitting a conductive droplet to a voltage larger than 50 V, we get a levitation regime that looks like the one obtained with the well-known thermal Leidenfrost effect, except that light is emitted from beneath the droplet. Spectroscopic analysis shows that this light is emitted by a cold and dense plasma and also that lines coming from the cathode plate material are present revealing a local cathodic sputtering effect. We examine the conditions for the levitation to occur and show that the levitation is essentially of thermal origin. Assuming a stationary heat transfer, we present a model that accounts well for the observed levitation conditions. In particular, stable levitation is shown to be possible for thin cathode plates only.
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Research Article| August 11 2015
The plasma levitation of droplets
Antoine Dugué ;
Antoine Durieux ;
Cédric Poulain, Antoine Dugué, Antoine Durieux, Nader Sadeghi, Jérôme Duplat; The plasma levitation of droplets. Appl. Phys. Lett. 10 August 2015; 107 (6): 064101. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4926964
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