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Mass Spectra and Ionization Temperatures in an Argon-Nitrogen Inductively Coupled Plasma

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Positive ions were extracted from the axial channel of an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) in which the outer gas flow was Ar, N2, or a mixture of Ar and N2. Addition of N2 to the outer gas decreases the electron number density (ne ) in the axial channel. Ar+2, O2 +, and ArH+ react with N-containing species in the plasma and/or during the ion extraction process. Ar+ remains abundant even if there is no Ar in the outer gas, which indicates the probable occurrence of charge transfer reactions between N2 + and Ar. The present work corroborates two general concepts upon which several theories of the origin of suprathermal ionization in ICPs are based: (a) species are physically transported from the induction region to the axial channel; and (b) these species may react with and ionize neutral species in the axial channel. Ionization temperatures (T ion) measured from the ratio Cd+/I+ were 5750 to 6700 K for a N2 outer flow ICP at a forward power of 1.2 kW. This T ion range is significantly below that obtained for an Ar outer gas ICP under otherwise similar operating parameters.

Keywords: Emission spectroscopy; Inductively coupled plasmas; Mass spectroscopy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Ames Laboratory-U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011 2: Ames Laboratory-U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011; present address: Department of Chemistry, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052

Publication date: September 1, 1983

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