An electrode is a electrically conductive component. Between an electrode and a second conductive component, usually a second electrode, an electric field establishes when beeing charged by an electric voltage.

Such an electric field can stimulate a plasma by one of the following methods.

  •  By high voltage and extreme concetration of the electric field a plasma can be generated. This is the common process to generate an atmospheric plasma. 
  • By an oscillating electric field a plasma can be generated caused by high frequency instead of high voltage. This method is used to generate low pressure plasma. Electrodes can have big distances. By this method a homogenous plasma in a large volume can be generated.
planar electrode
Ions can be accelerated by a negative charged planar electrode and can stimulate a physical etching process.