Large-scale plumes in a plasma jet are desirable for fast processing of materials with large surface, which are normally composed of discharge filaments. A filamentary plume may cause nonuniform treatment or even damage to vulnerable samples. In this Letter, an argon plasma jet in a gas-confined barrier discharge geometry is proposed to generate a large-scale filament-free plume. Results indicate that the filament-free plume can only be sustained in a relatively low voltage amplitude (Vp), which transits to the filamentary plume with increasing Vp. There is only one negative discharge per voltage cycle for the filament-free plume, while both positive and negative discharges for the filamentary plume. Fast photography reveals that the negative discharge is diffuse, originating from the propagation of a negative streamer. On the contrary, the positive discharges are filamentary. Optical emission spectroscopy indicates that the filament-free plume has lower electron density, electron excitation temperature, and molecular vibrational temperature compared to the filamentary plume, while gas temperature keeps at a low value with varying Vp.

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