Quantitative two-photon laser-induced fluorescence measurements of atomic hydrogen densities, temperatures, and velocities in an expanding thermal plasma

M.G.H. Boogaarts, S. Mazouffre, G.J. Brinkman, H.W.P. Heijden, van der, P.J.W. Vankan, J.J.A.M. Mullen, van der, D.C. Schram, H.F. Döbele

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We report on quantitative, spatially resolved density, temperature, and velocity measurements on ground-state atomic hydrogen in an expanding thermal Ar-H plasma using two-photon excitation laser-induced fluorescence (LIF). The method's diagnostic value for application in this plasma is assessed by identifying and evaluating the possibly disturbing factors on the interpretation of the LIF signal in terms of density, temperature, and velocity. In order to obtain quantitative density numbers, the LIF setup is calibrated for H measurements using two different methods. A commonly applied calibration method, in which the LIF signal from a, by titration, known amount of H generated by a flow-tube reactor is used as a reference, is compared to a rather new calibration method, in which the H density in the plasma jet is derived from a measurement of the two-photon LIF signal generated from krypton at a well-known pressure, using a known Kr to H detection sensitivity ratio. The two methods yield nearly the same result, which validates the new H density calibration. Gauging the new "rare gas method" by the "flow-tube reactor method," we find a krypton to hydrogen two-photon excitation cross section ratio sigma /sub Kr//sup (2)// sigma /sub H//sup (2)/ of 0.56, close to the reported value of 0.62. Since the H density calibration via two-photon LIF of krypton is experimentally far more easy than the one using a flow-tube reactor, it is foreseen that the "rare gas method" will become the method of choice in two-photon LIF experiments. The current two-photon LIF detection limit for H in the Ar-H plasma jet is 10/sup 15/ m/sup -3/. The accuracy of the density measurements depends on the accuracy of the calibration, which is currently limited to 33%. The reproducibility depends on the signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio in the LIF measurements and is orders of magnitude better. The accuracy in the temperature determination also depends on the S/N ratio of the LIF signal and on the ratio between the Doppler-width of the transition and the linewidth of the excitation laser. Due to the small H mass, the current linewidth of the UV laser radiation is never the accuracy limiting factor in the H temperature determination, even not at room temperature. Quantitative velocity numbers are obtained by measuring the Doppler shift in the H two-photon excitation spectrum. Both the radial and axial velocity components are obtained by applying a perpendicular and an antiparallel excitation configuration, respectively. The required laser frequency calibration is accomplished by simultaneously recording the I/sub 2/ absorption spectrum with the fundamental frequency component of the laser system. This method, which is well-established in spectroscopic applications, enables us to achieve a relative accuracy in the transition frequency measurement below 10/sup -6/, corresponding to an accuracy in the velocity of approximately 200 m/s. This accuracy is nearly laser linewidth limited
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-86
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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