Emission characteristics of 6.78-MHz radio-frequency glow discharge plasma in a pulsed mode

Xinyue Zhang, Kazuaki Wagatsuma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigated Boltzmann plots for both atomic and ionic emission lines of iron in an argon glow discharge plasma driven by 6.78-MHz radio-frequency (RF) voltage in a pulsed operation, in order to discuss how the excitation/ionization process was affected by the pulsation. For this purpose, a pulse frequency as well as a duty ratio of the pulsed RF voltage was selected as the experimenter parameters. A Grimm-style radiation source was employed at a forward RF power of 70 W and at an argon pressures of 670 Pa. The Boltzmann plot for low-lying excited levels of iron atom was on a linear relationship, which was probably attributed to thermal collisions with ultimate electrons in the negative glow region; in this case, the excitation temperature was obtained in a narrow range of 3300–3400 K, which was hardly affected by the duty ratio as well as the pulse frequency of the pulsed RF glow discharge plasma. This observation suggested that the RF plasma could be supported by a self-stabilized negative glow region, where the kinetic energy distribution of the electrons would be changed to a lesser extent. Additional non-thermal excitation processes, such as a Penning-type collision and a charge-transfer collision, led to deviations (overpopulation) of particular energy levels of iron atom or iron ion from the normal Boltzmann distribution. However, their contributions to the overall excitation/ionization were not altered so greatly, when the pulse frequency or the duty ratio was varied in the pulsed RF glow discharge plasma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-80
Number of pages9
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 1


  • 6.78 MHZ radio frequency
  • Boltzmann plot
  • Excitation process
  • Glow discharge optical emission spectrometry
  • Pulsed discharge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy


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