Characterization of a transient spark micro-discharge in nitrogen using simultaneous two-wavelength diagnostics

Gröger, S. and Fiebrandt, M. and Hamme, M. and Bibinov, N. and Awakowicz, P.

Volume: 31 Pages:
DOI: 10.1088/1361-6501/ab7e69
Published: 2020

A transient spark micro-discharge in nitrogen is investigated between two sharpened electrodes at a pressure of 0.5 bar. The plasma parameters (gas temperature, electron density and reduced electric field) are determined using optical emission spectroscopy (OES) and numerical simulations. The gas temperature of 3500 ± 100 K is determined by the comparison of the measured and simulated rotational distributions of the photoemission spectra of neutral molecular nitrogen N2(C-B,0-0). Both direct and stepwise electron impact excitation are considered in the collision-radiative model. The rate constants for electron impact excitation processes are calculated for different electric field values using the electron velocity distribution function, which is simulated by solving the Boltzmann equation. The applied broadband echelle spectrometer is absolutely calibrated in a spectral range of 200 nm to 800 nm, using two standard light sources, a deuterium lamp and a tungsten ribbon lamp, which are certificated by the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany. With the aid of this absolutely calibrated echelle spectrometer and a microwave atmospheric plasma source operated in a nitrogen flow, the intensified charge-coupled device (ICCD) camera, provided with an in-house made optical arrangement for simultaneous two-wavelength diagnostic is calibrated. The spatial resolution of this diagnostic system under the studied plasma conditions amounts to 13 m. The accurate examination of the experimental results allows determining the dominant process of electron impact excitation of molecular nitrogen ion from ionic ground state. Applying the chosen excitation model of the nitrogen photoemission, the spatially resolved reduced electric field and the electron density are determined. This is done by using the inverse Abel transformation of the absolute intensities of molecular nitrogen bands N2(C-B,0-0) and N2 + (B-X,0-0), which were measured with the calibrated ICCD camera. The measured electric current of the micro-discharge is compared with the calculated one using the measured plasma parameters and a good coincidence is established. © 2020 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd.

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