The aim of this work is to analyse and discuss a spectroscopic method of diagnosis based on the Stark broadening of emission lines to determine the electron density and temperature in atmospheric-pressure plasmas. Usually, when the electron temperature is previously known, the Stark broadening of certain spectral lines spontaneously emitted by the plasma is used to determine the electron density in a rapid and inexpensive way. However, comparing two or more broadening of lines can allow us to diagnose the electron density and temperature simultaneously. To carry out this cross-point method, we must know the Stark broadening dependence on the electron temperature and density for different lines. In this work we have used the first three Balmer series hydrogen lines, whose Stark broadenings were calculated by means of a recent micro-field model existing in the bibliography. The experimental study was made in argon and hydrogen plasma flames. The plasmas were produced at 2.45 GHz by an axial injection torch, which can operate at atmospheric pressure under different experimental conditions to produce appropriate plasmas in 'open air'. The flame produced in this way is a two-temperature plasma, so it is not in local thermodynamic equilibrium. Moreover, by means of the Boltzmann-plot modified with the p-6 law, we found for the hydrogen plasma that most of the observable atomic states were ruled by the excitation–saturation balance. With this method we could also determine the electron temperature.
Torres, J., Palomares, J. M., Sola, A., Mullen, van der, J. J. A. M., & Gamero, A. (2007). A Stark broadening method to determine simultaneously the electron temperature and density in high-pressure microwave plasmas. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 40(19), 5929-5936. https://doi.org/10.1088/0022-3727/40/19/023