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Title: Emission and afterglow properties of an expanding RF plasma with nonuniform neutral gas density

In this, we describe some notable aspects of the light emission and afterglow properties in pulsed, high-density (10 18–10 20 m -3) argon inductively coupled discharges initiated following fast gas injection. The plasma was created in a long, narrow discharge tube and then expanded downstream of the radiofrequency (RF) antenna into a large chamber. Fast camera images of the expanding plasma revealed a multi-phase time-dependent emission pattern that did not follow the ion density distribution. Dramatic differences in visible brightness were observed between discharges with and without an externally applied magnetic field. These phenomena were studied by tracking excited state populations using passive emission spectroscopy and are discussed in terms of the distinction between ionizing and recombining phase plasmas. Additionally, a method is presented for inferring the unknown neutral gas pressure in the discharge tube from the time-dependent visible and infrared emission measured by a simple photodiode placed near the antenna. In magnetized discharges created with fast gas injection, the downstream ion density rose by Δn i ~ 10 18 m -3 in the first ~100 μs after the RF power was turned off. The conditions conducive to this afterglow density rise are investigated in detail, and the effect ismore » tentatively attributed to pooling ionization.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States). Applied Physics and Materials Science Dept.
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-04ER54755; SC0010471; 1059519
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 23; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24); National Science Foundation (NSF); Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ionization; antennas; gas discharges; radiofrequency discharges; brightness; plasma ionization; plasma density; cameras; photodiodes; magnetic fields
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1283418