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Stable Plasma Jet for Excitation of Solutions

Volume 15, Number 5 (Sept. 1961) Page 150-152

Owen, Louis E.


The plasma jet, as adapted for the spectrochemical excitation of solutions and used with a photoelectric spectrometer to measure light intensities, provided coefficients of variation of one to two percent (1). A significant portion of the error was attributed to discharge instability. The swirling flow of gas surrounding the jet "flame" at the cathode forces the arc to make electrical contact to the cathode by an arc streamer. It is this streamer moving randomly over the cathode surface which makes the discharge unstable. It appeared that stabilization of the electrical path to give excitation position stability would be necessary to improve the precision of the plasma jet as an excitation source (2).