Electric field and temperature in a target induced by a plasma jet imaged using Mueller polarimetry

E.T. Slikboer, A. Sobota, O. Guaitella, E. Garcia-Caurel

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Mueller polarimetry is used to investigate the behavior of an electro optic target (BSO crystal) under exposure of guided ionization waves produced by an atmospheric pressure plasma jet. For the first time, this optical technique is time resolved to obtain the complete Mueller matrix of the sample right before and after the impact of the discharges. By analyzing the induced birefringence, the spatial profiles and local values are obtained of both the electric field and temperature in the sample. Electric fields are generated due to deposited surface charges and a temperature profile is present, due to the heat transferred by the plasma jet. The study of electric field dynamics and local temperature increase at the target, due to the plasma jet is important for biomedical applications, as well as surface functionalization. This work shows how Mueller polarimetry can be used as a novel diagnostic to simultaneously acquire the spatial distribution and local values of both the electric field and temperature, by coupling the external source of anisotropy to the measured induced birefringence via the symmetry point group of the examined material.
Original languageEnglish
Article number025204
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2018


  • Mueller polarimetry
  • dielectric target
  • electric field
  • electro-optic crystals
  • ionization waves
  • non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma
  • plasma jet


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