A passive measurement of dissociated atom densities in atmospheric pressure air discharge plasmas using vacuum ultraviolet self-absorption spectroscopy

George Laity, Andrew Fierro, James Dickens, Klaus Frank, Andreas Neuber

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Abstract

We demonstrate a method for determining the dissociation degree of atmospheric pressure air discharges by measuring the self-absorption characteristics of vacuum ultraviolet radiation from O and N atoms in the plasma. The atom densities are determined by modeling the amount of radiation trapping present in the discharge, without the use of typical optical absorption diagnostic techniques which require external sources of probing radiation into the experiment. For an 8.0mm spark discharge between needle electrodes at atmospheric pressure, typical peak O atom densities of 8.5×10 17cm-3 and peak N atom densities of 9.9×10 17cm-3 are observed within the first ∼1.0mm of plasma near the anode tip by analyzing the OI and NI transitions in the 130.0-132.0nm band of the vacuum ultraviolet spectrum.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123302
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume115
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 28 2014

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