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Axial- and radial-resolved electron density and excitation temperature of aluminum plasma induced by nanosecond laser: Effect of the ambient gas composition and pressure
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The spatial variation of the characteristics of an aluminumplasma induced by a pulsed nanosecond XeCl laser is studied in this paper. The electron density and the excitation temperature are deduced from time- and space- resolved Stark broadening of an ion line and from a Boltzmann diagram, respectively. The influence of the gas pressure (from vacuum up to atmospheric pressure) and compositions (argon, nitrogen and helium) on these characteristics is investigated. It is observed that the highest electron density occurs near the laser spot and decreases by moving away both from the target surface and from the plume center to its edge. The electron density increases with the gas pressure, the highest values being occurred at atmospheric pressure when the ambient gas has the highest mass, i.e. in argon. The excitation temperature is determined from the Boltzmann plot of line intensities of iron impurities present in the aluminum target. The highest temperature is observed close to the laser spot location for argon at atmospheric pressure. It decreases by moving away from the target surface in the axial direction. However, no significant variation of temperature occurs along the radial direction. The differences observed between the axial and radial direction are mainly due to the different plasma kinetics in both directions.
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