Dielectric Barrier Discharge

Dielectric Barrier lamps are discharge light sources having electrodes, but in which there is no direct contact between the discharge and the electrodes. They are separated, as the name implies, by a dielectric material and power is coupled capacitively into the discharge.

One of the advantages of this technique is that the electrodes operate at much lower temperatures, and they are not exposed to reactive species which may lead to their degradation over time. As such the lifetime of dielectric barrier discharge lamps can be made extremely long, but the power density is typically lower than other discharge lamps. Another advantage is that since no time is required for the electrodes to heat up and for the lamp to stabilise, light is produced instantaneously. The different electrical characteristics of the discharge also enable the effective creation of mercury-free lamps, this toxic metal unfortunately being necessary in virtually all other discharge lamps.

The complexity of the resulting lamps is however relatively high, and this results in rather high manufacturing costs. Efficacy is also somewhat lower than competitive discharge lamps, and despite several efforts the dielectric barrier lamps have struggled to gain a foothold in the market. Today they remain popular only in a few applications, such as instant-light photocopier and scanner lamps, and for the production of very short wavelength UV radiation.



Planon Dielectric Barrier Discharge Fluorescent