Absolute densities of metastable He(2(3)S(1)) atoms were measured line-of-sight integrated along the discharge channel of a capacitively coupled radio-frequency driven atmospheric pressure plasma jet operated in technologically relevant helium-oxygen mixtures by tunable diode-laser absorption spectroscopy. The dependences of the He(2(3)S(1)) density in the homogeneous-glow-like alpha-mode plasma with oxygen admixtures up to 1% were investigated. The results are compared with a one-dimensional numerical simulation, which includes a semi-kinetical treatment of the pronounced electron dynamics and the complex plasma chemistry (in total 20 species and 184 reactions). Very good agreement between measurement and simulation is found. The main formation mechanisms for metastable helium atoms are identified and analyzed, including their pronounced spatio-temporal dynamics. Penning ionization through helium metastables is found to be significant for plasma sustainment, while it is revealed that helium metastables are not an important energy carrying species into the jet effluent and therefore will not play a direct role in remote surface treatments.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Plasma sources science & technology|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2011|