Advanced Non-Equilibrium Plasma Diagnostic

In the last two decades a rapid increase in research on nonequilibrium atmospheric-pressure discharges has occurred.  Applications covers the fields of material science, plasma assisted combustion, plasma medicine. The different devices used (surface discharge, jets, microdischarge) are strongly influenced by several processes, and show a transient behaviour strongly influenced by collisions.

In the presence of such characteristics, the development and deployment of optical diagnostics is an essential tools for the understanding of microscopic processes and the development of new innovative plasma tools.

In our lab the diagnostics tools available are the following:

Optical diagnostic techniques

Time-resolved imaging, on the nanosecond and sub-nanosecond  time scale, is used to visualize the breakdown mechanism in the streamer case or in the ‘plasma bullet’ propagation.  In the picture The ionization wave propagation in a nanosecond  volume discharge.

Surface DBD  single streamer nanosecond discharge.

Time and spatially resolved optical emission spectroscopy (TROES) reaching time resolution down to tens of ps.


Laser-based techniques (laser-induced fluorescence )(LIF), OODR LIF, TALIF .

The LIF techinique can be succesfully applied to monitor radicals , metastable with a time and spatial resolution limited by the laser characteristics,  and high sensitivity.

Laser-based techniques

Absorption based techniques, in its various versions of resonant, broad-band (BBAS), cavity enhanced (CEAS), cavity ring-down (CRDS).

Absorption based techniques

The quantities accessible to spectroscopic diagnostics are gas temperature, electron density, electric field and density of transient species, i.e. radicals and electronic metastable states.

Moreover  kinetics study of transient species can be perfomed and the experimental data used as input for computer modelling of the discharge kinetics.

Our experience in the discharge design enable us to apply the above mentioned techniques in specially designed discharges,  such as single streamer volume/surface dielectric barrier discharges (DBDs). Nevertheless our diagnostics tools can also be used in applicative systems.

Electrical characterizations.

Together with the above mentioned optical techiniques a ful set of electrical characterization tecniques is available including langmuir probes for electron density measurements,.


Part of the experimental investigation reported in this page was perfomed in collaboration of dr. Milan Simek of the Institute of PlasmaPhysics Czech Academy of Science.  (Nanosecond streamer discharge) .

Selected Publications

Facilities & Labs

Energy Transfer in Plasmas @ Bari


PaoloFrancesco_AmbricoPaolo Francesco


CNR Researcher



CNR Researcher


  1. Dilecce G., Optical spectroscopy diagnostics of discharges at atmospheric pressure, Plasma Sources Science and Technology Volume 23, Issue 1, February 2014, DOI: 1088/0963-0252/23/1/015011
  2. Martini, L.M., Dilecce, G., Guella, G., Maranzana A., Tonachini, G., Tosi, P., Oxidation of CH4 by CO2 in a dielectric barrier discharge, Chemical Physics Letters 593, pp. 55-60 (2014) DOI: 1016/j.cplett.2013.12.069
  3. Martini LM , Dilecce G , Scotoni M, Tosi P, De Benedictis S, OH Density Measurements by Time-Resolved Broad Band Absorption Spectroscopy in a He-H2O Dielectric Barrier Discharge With Small O-2 Addition, PLASMA PROCESSES AND POLYMERS Volume: 13   Issue: 2   Pages: 298-299   (2016) DOI:1002/ppap.201500020
  4. Dilecce, G., Martini, L.M., Tosi, P., Scotoni, M., De Benedictis, S., Laser induced fluorescence in atmospheric pressure discharges, Plasma Sources Science and Technology 24 (3), 034007 (2015) DOI: 10.1088/0963-0252/24/3/034007
  5. Simek, M.; Ambrico, P. F.; Prukner, V., LIF study of N-2(A(3)Sigma (+)(u), v=0-10) vibrational kinetics under nitrogen streamer conditions, JOURNAL OF PHYSICS D-APPLIED PHYSICS Volume: 48   Issue: 26     Article Number: 265202  (2015) DOI:1088/0022-3727/48/26/265202
  6. Ambrico P.F., Ambrico M., Schiavulli L., De Benedictis S., 2D Thermoluminescence imaging of dielectric surface long term charge memory of plasma surface interaction in DBD discharges, JOURNAL OF PHYSICS D-APPLIED PHYSICS   Volume: 47   Issue: 30     Article Number: 305201 (2014) DOI:1088/0022-3727/47/30/305201
  7. Ries D., Dilecce G., Robert E., Ambrico P.F., Ambrico M., Dozias S., Pouvesle J.M., LIF and fast imaging plasma jet characterization relevant for NTP biomedical applications, JOURNAL OF PHYSICS D-APPLIED PHYSICS Volume: 47   Issue: 27  Article Number: 275401 (2014) DOI:1088/0022-3727/47/27/275401
  8. Ratynskaia, S.; Dilecce, G.; Tolias, P, Nitrogen optical emission during nanosecond laser ablation of metals: prompt electrons or photo-ionization?, APPLIED PHYSICS A-MATERIALS SCIENCE & PROCESSING Volume: 117   Issue: 1   Pages: 409-413  (2014) DOI:1007/s00339-014-8534-9


APULIA SPACE: Esperti nell’uso di tecnologia abilitanti nel settore dello spazio,  PON03PE_00067_6, (2014-2016)

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Disordered serendipity: a glassy path to discovery

A workshop in honour of Giorgio Parisi’s 70th birthday

September 19-21, 2018 - Roma

Sapienza University

With the occasion of celebrating Giorgio Parisi 70th birthday, the conference "Disordered serendipity: a glassy path to discovery" brings to Rome many among the world-leading experts in the field of complex systems. In order to properly represent the many fields of research where Giorgio Parisi gave a relevant contribution in his studies of disordered systems, the conference covers a broad spectrum of topics: from  fundamental and rigorous analysis of the statistical mechanics of disorder systems to applications in biology and computer science. These subjects are deeply interconnected since they are characterized by the presence of glassy behavior.

Il prof. Giorgio Parisi eletto presidente dell'Accademia dei Lincei


La più antica accademia del mondo ha un nuovo Presidente

Roma, 22 Giugno 2018

Siamo lieti di annunciare che il prof Giorgio Parisi, fisico della Università La Sapienza di Roma e Associato Cnr Nanotec, è il nuovo Presidente dell'Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. A lui le nostre più vive congratulazioni e gli auguri di buon lavoro.


Costituzione del nuovo Ispc-Cnr

IV incontro - nuovo Istituto di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale - CNR

Lecce, 20 aprile 2018

Aula Rita Levi Montalcini - ore 11:00

CNR NANOTEC c/o Campus Ecotekne

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