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Mass spectrometry of molecules and radicals in glow discharge plasma


The article represents a method and equipment developed for mass spectrometric analysis of plasma, that is, for measurement of concentration of atoms and molecules, and their fragments, including free radicals. A compact and inexpensive mass spectrometer is based on a quadrupole residual gas analyzer (RGA-200, Stanford Research Systems). The design of the two-section differential pumping chamber makes it possible to bring the mass-spectrometer analyzer to the entrance diaphragm to a distance of 40 mm in order to measure quick reacting and easily condensed particles. The equipment was used for analyzing the composition of spherical glow discharge plasma in methanol vapor and acetone-nitrogen mixture. A procedure for mass spectrum processing is proposed. Time-varying concentrations of all observed neutral particles are measured. Presently available data on sections of complete and dissociative ionization of molecules and their fragments, which are necessary for reconstructing concentrations of particles in plasma from measured mass spectra, are presented.

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Correspondence to A. E. Belikov.

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Belikov, A.E., Sakhapov, S.Z., Smith, M.A. et al. Mass spectrometry of molecules and radicals in glow discharge plasma. J. Engin. Thermophys. 20, 42–54 (2011).

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  • Ionization Cross Section
  • Discharge Chamber
  • Dissociative Ionization
  • Glow Discharge Plasma