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Mass Spectrometric Evidence for Suprathermal Ionization in an Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma

Volume 35, Number 4 (Aug. 1981) Page 380-384

Houk, Robert S.; Svec, Harry J.; Fassel, Velmer A.

Mass spectra have been obtained of species in the axial channel of an inductively coupled argon plasma by extracting ions from the inductively coupled plasma into a vacuum system housing a quadrupole mass spectrometer. Ionization temperatures (Tion) are obtained from relative count rates of m/z-resolved ions according to two general types of ionization equilibrium considerations: (a) the ratio of doubly/singly charged ions of the same element, and (b) the ratio of singly charged ions from two elements of different ionization energy. The Tion values derived from measurement of Ar+2/Ar+, Ba+2/Ba+, Sr+2/Sr+, and Cd+/I+ are all greater than those expected from excitation temperatures measured by other workers. The latter three values for Tion are in reasonable agreement with values obtained by optical spectrometry for a variety of argon inductively coupled plasmas.