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The CH molecular band is measured upon seeding the hydrogen plasma in the linear plasma generator Pilot-PSI [electron temperature and electron density ] with methane. Calculated inverse photon efficiencies for these conditions range from 3 up to due to a steeply decreasing electron excitation cross section. The experiments contradict the calculations and show a constant effective inverse photon efficiency of for . The discrepancy is explained as the CH level is populated through dissociative recombination of the molecular ions formed by charge exchange. Collisional de-excitation is observed for and . These results form a framework for in situcarbonerosion measurements in future fusion reactors such as ITER.


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