Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 25(4), 481 (2009).

Temporal Variations in the Excitation Temperature of a Laser-induced Argon Plasma Estimated with Copper Emission Lines
Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, 2-1-1 Katahira, Sendai 980-8577, Japan
A time-resolved spectrometric measurement was conducted to determine temporal variations in the excitation temperature within a single laser plume caused by a Nd:YAG laser plasma. The two-line method using copper atomic lines was employed to estimate the excitation temperature. Two line pairs of copper lines: Cu I 521.82/Cu I 510.55 and Cu I 515.32/Cu I 510.55, were measured by using an Echelle spectrograph equipped with an ICCD detector having a high-speed gating. The excitation temperature was gradually elevated with the progress of the plasma expansion. This result cannot be explained from a direct excitation model in which excited species are principally produced through collisions with energetic particles, but from an indirect excitation model in which second-kind collisions with argon metastables and subsequent step-wise de-excitations produce the excited species. In the latter case, high-lying states of copper atoms are more populated compared to the population expected from the Boltzmann distribution. Temporal variations in the emission intensities of copper atomic lines requiring large excitation energies were also measured, and their emissions remained even in the expansion stage of the laser-induced plasma. This result also implies the over-population of high-lying copper excited levels.