Determination of plasma parameters by spectral line broadening in an electrosurgical argon plasma

Hillebrand, B. and Iglesias, E. and Gibson, A.R. and Bibinov, N. and Neugebauer, A. and Enderle, M. and Awakowicz, P.

Volume: 29 Pages:
DOI: 10.1088/1361-6595/abc411
Published: 2020

An electrosurgical argon plasma with a 5% admixture of molecular hydrogen is studied in order to investigate time averaged plasma parameters by optical emission spectroscopy (OES). Electron densities in the range of 1015-1016 cm-3 are determined from the Stark broadening of the time averaged line profiles of the Balmer-α and -β emission lines of hydrogen. A two-profile fit corresponding to regions of different electron densities is found to provide a better representation of the line broadening than a single profile fit. This is consistent with time resolved ICCD imaging, acquired with 150 ns time resolution, that shows strong radial gradients in the plasma emission and the asymmetry produced by the discharge arrangement. Gas temperatures are determined using two different methods. Firstly, simulated spectra for different rotational temperatures are fitted to the measured N2(C-B, 0-1) emission band originating from ambient air diffusion into the argon/hydrogen gas flow. From the best fit, rotational temperatures between 1500 K and 1800 K are inferred. These measurements are in good agreement with those inferred by the second method, which is based on the collisional broadening of the emission lines of neutral argon at 750 nm and 751 nm. This latter method may be useful for the measurement of gas temperatures when the device is used inside hollow organs during endoscopic or laparoscopic interventions, where air mixing will be limited. Therefore, the results of this study are highly relevant to applications of these devices, e.g. for controlling tissue effects and the avoidance of excessive heating. © 2020 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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