Time-Resolved Electron Temperature in an Argon Theta Pinch by Line Ratio Methods

Warner C. Meeks, Joshua L. Rovey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pulsed inductive argon plasma in an 80-J, 15-kV, 490-kHz theta pinch is interrogated using spectroscopic methods. Time-resolved electron temperature is obtained by coupling line intensity ratios with steady-state corona and collisional-radiative (CR) models. Neutral excited state argon transitions from the 2p to 1s subshells were utilized. The backfill pressures of 50 and 100 mtorr are of primary focus. Time-resolved electron temperature estimates are presented ranging from 1 to 11.1 eV for the corona model up to an excess of 80 eV for the CR model. Near-IR spectral emission is seen to increase rapidly near the first zero crossing of the oscillating discharge current while electron temperature increase lags by roughly one full discharge cycle later near the third zero crossing. An analysis of long exposures provides an account of substantial second-order diffracted spectra. Weak spectral signal quality for the short exposures of 0.25-μs yielded time-resolved spectral intensity trend lines of a low accuracy with an average percent difference of 69% between raw data and trend lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7498573
Pages (from-to)1411-1418
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Argon
  • Hall-effect thruster
  • collisional-radiative (CR) model
  • corona model
  • intensity ratios
  • low energy
  • spectroscopy
  • theta pinch
  • xenon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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