Atmospheric pressure guided ionization waves (GIWs) that are driven by ns/μs-pulsed high voltages, are promising tools in the biomedical field allowing for the effective production of reactive species and metastables without thermal damages of the specimens that are exposed. In most cases, plasma is produced in noble gases using dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) devices of more-or-less sophisticated geometries. In this study, a compact low-cost DBD reactor of very simple geometry is presented. It is fed with pure helium and driven by positive μs-pulsed high voltage (amplitude: 4.5–8 kV, pulse width: 1–10 μs) of audio frequencies (5–20 kHz), while it operates consistently for long time periods in a wide range of conditions. The produced plasma exhibits propagation lengths up to 4 cm and rich chemical reactivity is established outside the reactor, depending on the device’s experimental parameters. Besides, the dielectric tube’s temperature during plasma operation is an important factor, which is linked to the plasma characteristics. This temperature and its variations are thoroughly investigated herein, along with GIWs electrical features versus the electrical parameters of the pulsed power supply. Accordingly, it is demonstrated that not all of the operational windows are adequate for thermal-free operation and suitable operating conditions of this system are proposed for diverse applications, such as biomedical (low gas temperature is a prerequisite) and surface treatments of solid materials (low temperatures are not required).
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