Electron densities and energies of a guided argon streamer in argon and air environments

S. Hübner, S. Hofmann, E.M. Veldhuizen, van, P.J. Bruggeman

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Abstract

In this study we report the temporally and spatially resolved electron densities and mean energies of a guided argon streamer in ambient argon and air obtained by Thomson laser scattering. The plasma is driven by a positive monopolar 3.5 kV pulse, with a pulse width of 500 ns and a frequency of 5 kHz which is synchronized with the high repetition rate laser system. This configuration enables us to use the spatial and temporal stability of the guided streamer to accumulate a multitude of laser/plasma shots by a triple grating spectrometer equipped with an ICCD camera and to determine the electron parameters. We found a strong initial ne-overshoot with a maximum of 7 × 10^19 m-3 and a mean electron energy of 4.5 eV. This maximum is followed by a fast decay toward the streamer channel. Moreover, a 2D distribution of the electron density is obtained which exhibits a peculiar mushroom-like shape of the streamer head with a diameter significantly larger than that of the emission profile. A correlation of the width of the streamer head with the expected pre-ionization channel is found.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)065011-1/9
Number of pages8
JournalPlasma Sources Science and Technology
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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