Development of supersonic metastable helium pulsed beam source for plasma diagnostics

Shinichi Namba, Daniel Andruczyk, Ken Takiyama, Daijiro Ueno, Shinya Furukawa, Brian W. James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A supersonic metastable helium (2 1S) pulsed beam source, which consists of an electromagnetic valve, a collimation skimmer, and discharge electrodes for production of a plasma, has been constructed, which is essential for the direct measurement of electric fields in plasmas by means of polarization laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy. A supersonic helium atomic beam with a short pulselength (∼300 μs), narrow divergence (∼1.1°), and high density of ∼1.4 × 1014 cm -3 has been achieved. In order to generate metastable atoms in this beam source, a Penning-type discharge was employed, which is suitable for producing stable plasma with high temperature, even at low gas densities, due to the particular configuration of electrodes together with a magnetic field. Spectroscopic observations indicated that the temporal behaviors of neutral atom and ion emissions were almost the same as that of the helium atom profile, and on increasing the discharge voltage applied between electrodes, the spectral intensity increased approximately linearly. Moreover, the fact that the ion emission can also be observed showed that it was probable that a high-temperature plasma was generated by the Penning discharge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8099-8103
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics
Issue number10 B
StatePublished - Oct 21 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Electric field in plasma
  • Laser induced fluorescence
  • Plasma diagnostics
  • Supersonic metastable helium beam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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