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Title Microwave Interferometric Measurements of Electron Density in Laser-Generated Plasma Channels
Publication Date
Date Accessioned
Degree PhD
Discipline/Department 0240
Degree Level doctoral
University/Publisher University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign
Abstract Measurements of the temporal decay of the absolute electron density in a laser-produced plasma channel have been made with a 9.2~Ghz microwave interferometer. The plasma channels were generated by sub-picosecond laser pulses ($\lambda=$248~nm, 40~mJ per pulse) produced by a hybrid Ti:sapphire/KrF excimer amplifier system. The ultrashort pulse duration resulted in a $\delta$-function excitation source, allowing the subsequent plasma decay to be explored without further excitation of the gas and without deconvolving the excitation source profile from the electron density decay data. The temporal resolution of the interferometer has been demonstrated to be a few nanoseconds (bandwidth of $\approx$1~GHz), and electron density decay profiles have been measured in argon and nitrogen at pressures in the range of 1-650~Torr. Gas kinetic models in argon and nitrogen have been developed, and have shown good agreement with the measured electron density profiles. Model predictions of the dissociative recombination rate constants, $\alpha_D$, in argon and nitrogen are reported, \mbox{$\alpha_D\,(\mathrm{Ar})=1-6 \times 10^{-6}$~cm$^3$~s$^{-1}$} and \mbox{$\alpha_D\,(\mathrm{N}_2)=1-3.25 \times 10^{-6}$~cm$^3$~s$^{-1}$}. At pressures $>$200~Torr, the reported values show good agreement with previous measurements, and in the pressure range 20-200~Torr, the values presented here are the first to be reported. The multiphoton ionization (MPI) cross section for argon, $\sigma_{(4)}$, is estimated to be in the range $10^{-117}-10^{-118}$~cm$^8$~s$^3$, which is within an order of magnitude of the one previous measurement, and the experimental technique is shown to have the potential to improve the precision of this estimate.
Subjects/Keywords plasma; microwave; argon; nitrogen; dissociative recombination; multiphoton ionization; electron density; plasma filaments
Contributors Eden, James G. (advisor); Cooper, S. Lance (Committee Chair); Eden, James G. (committee member); Hertzog, David W. (committee member); Carney, Paul S. (committee member)
Language en
Rights Copyright 2011 Kathryn E. Keister
Country of Publication us
Record ID handle:2142/24061
Repository uiuc
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2018-11-19
Grantor University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Issued Date 2011-05-25 14:53:01

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