Simulations of an α-mode radio frequency dielectric barrier discharge are performed for varying mixtures of argon and helium at pressures ranging from 200 to 500 Torr using both zero and one-dimensional models. Metastable densities are analyzed as a function of argon-helium mixture and pressure to determine the optimal conditions, maximizing metastable density for use in an optically pumped rare gas laser. Argon fractions corresponding to the peak metastable densities are found to be pressure dependent, shifting from approximately 15% Ar in He at 200 Torr to 10% at 500 Torr. A decrease in metastable density is observed as pressure is increased due to a diminution in the reduced electric field and a quadratic increase in metastable loss rates through Ar*2 formation. A zero-dimensional effective direct current model of the dielectric barrier discharge is implemented, showing agreement with the trends predicted by the one-dimensional fluid model in the bulk plasma.
Journal of Applied Physics
D. J. Emmons, D. E. Weeks, B. Eshel, G. P. Perram; Metastable Ar(1s5) density dependence on pressure and argon-helium mixture in a high pressure radio frequency dielectric barrier discharge. Journal of Applied Physics 28 January 2018; 123 (4): 043304. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5009337