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Title: On- and off-axis spectral emission features from laser-produced gas breakdown plasmas

Laser-heated gas breakdown plasmas or sparks emit profoundly in the ultraviolet and visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum with contributions from ionic, atomic, and molecular species. Laser created kernels expand into a cold ambient with high velocities during its early lifetime followed by confinement of the plasma kernel and eventually collapse. However, the plasma kernels produced during laser breakdown of gases are also capable of exciting and ionizing the surrounding ambient medium. Two mechanisms can be responsible for excitation and ionization of surrounding ambient: viz. photoexcitation and ionization by intense ultraviolet emission from the sparks produced during the early times of its creation and/or heating by strong shocks generated by the kernel during its expansion into the ambient. In this study, an investigation is made on the spectral features of on- and off-axis emission features of laser-induced plasma breakdown kernels generated in atmospheric pressure conditions with an aim to elucidate the mechanisms leading to ambient excitation and emission. Pulses from an Nd:YAG laser emitting at 1064 nm with 6 ns pulse duration are used to generate plasma kernels. Laser sparks were generated in air, argon, and helium gases to provide different physical properties of expansion dynamics and plasma chemistry consideringmore » the differences in laser absorption properties, mass density and speciation. Point shadowgraphy and time-resolved imaging were used to evaluate the shock wave and spark self-emission morphology at early and late times while space and time resolved spectroscopy is used for evaluating the emission features as well as for inferring plasma fundaments at on- and off-axis. Structure and dynamics of the plasma kernel obtained using imaging techniques are also compared to numerical simulations using computational fluid dynamics code. The emission from the kernel showed that spectral features from ions, atoms and molecules are separated in time with an early time temperatures and densities in excess of 35000 K and 4×1018 /cm3 with an existence of thermal equilibrium. However, the emission from the off-kernel positions from the breakdown plasmas showed enhanced ultraviolet radiation with the presence of N2 bands and represented by non-LTE conditions. Our results also highlight that the ultraviolet radiation emitted during early time of spark evolution is the predominant source of the photo-excitation of the surrounding medium.« less
Authors:
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Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-125704
Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X; DN2001000
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830; AC05-76LO1830
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 24; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
(140.3440) Laser-induced breakdown; (280.5395) Plasma Diagnostics; (300.2140) Emission Spectroscopy
OSTI Identifier:
1367381
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1364183