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Plasma-density evolution in compact polyacetal capillary discharges




Lee, R. W., author
Szapiro, B. T., author
Cortázar, O. D., author
Rocca, Jorge J., author
Tomasel, F. G., author
American Physical Society, publisher

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We have measured the temporal evolution of the electron density of plasmas produced in polyacetal capillaries with diameters between 0.5 and 1.5 mm excited by 110-ns full-width-at-half-maximum discharge pulses with currents between 13 and 42 kA. The electron density was determined from Stark-broadened line profiles of the 4ƒ-3d O VI transition taking into account opacity effects. The electron density was found to increase continuously during the rise of the current pulse, and to decrease near the end of the current pulse, when a drop in plasma temperature causes the degree of ionization of the plasma to decrease. The peak plasma density in a 1-mm capillary excited by a 24-kA pulse was measured to be 5 × 1019 cm-3. The plasma density was observed to increase linearly with discharge energy from 7.5 × 1018 cm-3 for a 5-J discharge to 5 × 1019 cm-3 for a 30-J discharge in a 1.5-mm-diam. capillary.


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