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.
Hübner, S., Hofmann, S., Veldhuizen, van, E. M., & Bruggeman, P. J. (2013). Electron densities and energies of a guided argon streamer in argon and air environments. Plasma Sources Science and Technology, 22(6), 065011-1/9. https://doi.org/10.1088/0963-0252/22/6/065011