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Comprehensive study of the discharge mode transition in inductively coupled radio frequency plasmas
(2016)

In this contribution, the mode transition of an inductively coupled radio frequency plasma at low pressure is investigated. Therefore, a comprehensive set of plasma diagnostics were applied to determine plasma and processing parameters. Therewith, the plasma kinetics and especially the important elementary processes were studied. Hence, the reason for the mode transition was identified.

In this work the mechanisms leading to the generation of the various reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) in a cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) jet and means to control their composition were studied. The investigated CAP jet kinpen is typically operated with Ar feed gas (pure or with molecular admixtures), driven at a frequency of approximately 1 MHz and features fast ionization waves or guided streamers, traveling at velocities of several km/s. The complex reaction networks were investigated by numerical and experimental techniques. Detailed experimental, analytical and computational investigations on the mass and heat transport in the plasma plume were performed: A novel analytical approach to diffusion in jet flows, the non-dispersive path mapping approximation (NDPM) was developed. The method for the first time allows for an estimation of the ambient species density in the near-field of jets that feature a non-homogeneous flow-field. The NDPM approximation was employed for the evaluation of laser induced fluorescence measurements on OH. Through combining measurements and NDPM approximation, this approach yielded an estimation for the ambient species density at the position of the guided streamers, not only in the laminar, but also in the (standard) turbulent operating regime. Accurate measurements of the temporally averaged ambient species density and temperature in the plasma plume were obtained by quantitative Schlieren measurements. The method yields temperature values with sub-Kelvin accuracy and, through combination with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations, allowed for an estimation of the calorimetric power of the jet. In order to obtain a defined environment for the jet to operate in, a shielding gas device was designed in this work, which creates a gas curtain of defined composition around the plasma plume. The plasma dynamics on the ns timescale was investigated by phase resolved optical measurements. The effect of different shielding compositions ranging from pure N2 to pure O2 on guided streamer propagation was investigated. An electrostatic focusing mechanisms was discovered, which promotes the propagation of guided streamers along the channels formed by a noble gas in the plume of plasma jets operating in electronegative gases (such as air or O2). Two zero-dimensional (volume averaged) models were developed: First, the local processes in the guided streamer were modeled using an electron impact reaction kinetic model, which is closely correlated to densities of metastable argon (Ar*) obtained by laser atom absorption measurements. This first model shows that Ar* is the species which dominantly drives the plasma chemistry in the plasma plume. This is exploited in the second plug-flow reaction kinetics model, which is employed to investigate the formation of long-living RONS and uses an Ar* source term as sole energy input. The model uses the previous experimental data on mass and heat transport and temporal dynamics as input and is in turn verified by quantitative FTIR absorption measurements on O3, NO2, N2O, HNO3 and N2O5 in the far-field of the jet, where large absorption lengths can be achieved using a multi pass cell. For the evaluation of the zero-dimensional model, the time-of-flight of RONS from their generation to reaching the multi pass cell was determined using CFD simulations. The insight gained through this combined experimental-modeling approach on the reaction networks revealed relevant control parameters and enabled adjusting the plasma chemistry towards a desired RONS output. Through choosing appropriate feed-gas admixtures and shielding gas compositions, it is possible to generate an NOx-dominated plasma chemistry, although the jet usually produces a strongly O/O3-dominated chemistry. Understanding and controlling the plasma chemistry of cold atmospheric plasma sources for medical applications is not only essential for research, but is also the key for designing future plasma sources for specific medical applications that yield an optimum efficacy and avoid potential side effects of plasma treatment.

In this Ph.D. project a method is developed to measure the magnetic field and to derive variations in the total plasma pressure due to (dia-) magnetic effects. For this purpose a plasma diagnostic has been set up at the fusion experiment ASDEX Upgrade to measure spectroscopically polarized light. The light is emitted from fast beam-particles excited by the plasma. Since the fast atoms travel through a magnetic field at high velocity, a strong Lorentz field is seen in the moving frame. This electric field gives rise to the so-called motional Stark-effect (MSE) and it is possible to conclude from the Stark-spectrum on the magnetic field.

In dieser Arbeit wird ein einfaches Verfahren zur Herstellung ultradÃ¼nner (3 nm) Galliumschichten unter Umgebungsbedingungen beschrieben. Die Schichten sind stabil bis zu einem Auflage-Druck im GPa-Bereich und replizieren die zugrundeliegende Substratrauheit sowie grÃ¶ÃŸere Strukturen. Weiterhin wird ihre Eignung als Permeationsbarriere gezeigt. Mithilfe von optischen und elektrischen Messungen wird schlieÃŸlich anhand des Drude-Modells die Alterung (Oxidation) der Schichten unter Umgebungsbedingungen beschrieben.

Nanoengineering and laser optics allow for the fabrication of a wide range of systems that subject fermionic particles to geometric restrictions. In addition to strong correlations, the fermions may couple to internal or external bosonic fields, such as quantized lattice vibrations or light fields. This thesis considers the theoretical description of two such systems. One is a molecular junction, i.e., a small organic molecule contacted by metallic electrodes or leads. Itinerant electrons induce molecular vibrations and deformations, corresponding to phonon modes of considerable energy. The thesis investigates the effects of this local electron-phonon interaction on the electric and thermoelectric transport through the junction. Starting with an Anderson-Holstein quantum dot model, our ansatz is based on the application of a variational Lang-Firsov transformation that accounts for the polaronic character of the dot state. We solve the steady-state Kadanoff-Baym equations and derive a self-consistent approximation to the polaronic self-energy that accounts for finite densities and multi-phonon scattering processes. The optimal variational parameter is determined numerically by minimizing the thermodynamical potential. This allows a detailed study of the electronic dot spectral function for all interaction strengths and adiabaticity regimes. For instance, we discuss how a voltage dependent polaronic renormalization of the dot-lead coupling and the dot level causes negative differential conductance and novel conductance features. The investigation of the second system is motivated by recent experiments on the Bose-Einstein condensation of excitons in small semiconducting cuprous oxide crystals. At ultra cold temperatures three species of para- and orthoexcitons are caught in stress induced potential traps. Their decay luminescence is the primary method of detection. This thesis considers the thermodynamics of this system in terms of a multicomponent gas of weakly interacting bosons in external potentials. The coupled equations of motion are solved within a Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov-Popov approximation. For typical experimental parameters the density distributions of the interacting species are calculated numerically. Based on the luminescence formula by Shi and Verechaka we discuss, e.g., how the spectrum of the direct decay of thermal paraexcitons may reveal the formation of a nonluminescent paraexciton condensate as well as the spatial separation of strongly repulsive orthocondensates. First results for an extended luminescence theory are presented, which takes into account the polariton effect.

This thesis is devoted to experiments on three-dimensional dust clouds which are confined in low temperature plasmas. Such ensembles of highly electrically charged micrometer-sized particles reveal fascinating physics, such as self-excited density waves and vortices. At the same time, these systems are challenging for experimental approaches due to their three-dimensional character. In this thesis, new optical diagnostics for dusty plasmas have been developed and, in combination with existing techniques, have been used to study these 3D dusty plasmas on different size and time scales.

Because of the vital role of the liquid as interface in plasma medicine, this work is focused on the elucidation of the interaction of plasmas with biologically relevant liquids. The results of this thesis are an important step in the direction of the applications to real biological liquids such as blood and wound secretion ex vivo as well as in vivo. In this thesis the following questions are investigated and answered with the special focus on the free radicals as highly reactive and, therefore, hard to detect relevant group of chemical species: What is the impact of the atmospheric-pressure argon plasma jet on biologically relevant solutions? Which species are generated due to the plasma treatment of liquids? What is an appropriate detection procedure for the qualification and quantification of the short-lived species? Does the surrounding conditions influence the formation of liquid-phase reactive species and can this influence be used to tailor a desired liquid composition? What is the influence of the plasma surroundings? What is the influence of feed gas manipulation regarding the reactive species generation? Can these impacts be used for a selected reactive species composition generation? Does the treated liquid medium affect the plasma-generated reactive species output and in what way? Which are the underlying mechanisms and origins of the plasma-caused chemical changes in the solutions? Do reactive species exist, which origin is located in the gaseous phase? What is the impact of the plasma jet radiation?

Achieving commercial production of electricity by magnetic confinement fusion requires improvements in energy and particle confinement. In order to better understand and optimise confinement, numerical simulations of plasma phenomena are useful. One particularly challenging regime is that in which long wavelength MHD phenomena interact with kinetic phenomena. In such a regime, global electromagnetic gyrokinetic simulations are necessary. In this regime, computational requirements have been excessive for Eulerian methods, while Particle-in-Cell (PIC) methods have been particularly badly affected by the "cancellation problem", a numerical problem resulting from the structure of the electromagnetic gyrokinetic equations. A number of researchers have been working on mitigating this problem with some significant successes. Another alternative to mitigating the problem is to move to a hybrid system of fluid and gyrokinetic equations. At the expense of reducing the physical content of the numerical model, particularly electron kinetic physics, it is possible in this way to perform global electromagnetic PIC simulations retaining ion gyrokinetic effects but eliminating the cancellation problem. The focus of this work has been the implementation of two such hybrid models into the gyrokinetic code EUTERPE. The two models treat electrons and the entire bulk plasma respectively as a fluid. Both models are additionally capable of considering the self-consistent interaction of an energetic ion species, described gyrokinetically, with the perturbed fields. These two models have been successfully benchmarked in linear growth rate and frequency against other codes for a Toroidal AlfvÃ©n Eigenmode (TAE) case. The m=1 internal kink mode, which is particularly challenging in terms of the fully gyrokinetic cancellation problem, has also been successfully benchmarked using the hybrid models with the MHD eigenvalue code CKA. Non-linear simulations in this TAE case have been performed confirming the analytical prediction of a quadratic relationship between the linear growth rate of the TAE and the saturated amplitude of the TAE for a range of moderate values of the linear growth rate. At higher linear growth rate, a slower scaling of saturated amplitude with linear growth rate is observed. This analysis has been extended to include the non-linear wave-wave coupling between multiple TAE modes. It has been shown that wave-wave coupling results in a significant reduction in the saturated amplitude. It has been demonstrated that both plasma elongation and ion kinetic effects can exert a stabilising influence on the internal kink mode. A population of energetic particles can also exert a stabilising influence at low normalised pressure. At high normalised fast particle pressure the stabilised kink mode has been shown to give way to the m=1 EPM, which has been simulated both linearly and non-linearly (the "fishbone" mode). The first self-consistent simulations of global modes in the magnetic geometry of the optimised stellarator Wendelstein 7-X have been performed both linearly and non-linearly. Limitations have been encountered in performing simulations in 3D geometry. A hypothesis for the cause of these problems is outlined and ideas for mitigation are briefly described. In addition to the hybrid model simulations, some of the first utilisations of a new scheme for mitigating the cancellation problem in the fully gyrokinetic regime have been carried out in the framework of this thesis. This scheme, which was developed separately, is concisely described in this work. The new scheme has been benchmarked with existing gyrokinetic and hybrid results. The linear Wendelstein 7-X simulations and linear and single mode non-linear TAE simulations have been repeated with the new model. It is shown that bulk plasma kinetics can suppress the growth rate of global modes in Wendelstein 7-X. The results of fully gyrokinetic TAE simulations, the first to have been performed to our knowledge, are shown to be in close agreement with those results obtained using hybrid models. In the TAE case, the hybrid models are an order of magnitude less computationally demanding than the new gyrokinetic scheme, which is in turn at least an order of magnitude less computationally demanding than the previous gyrokinetic scheme.

The thesis deals with ions stored in an electrostatic ion beam trap. In the first part of the thesis the so-called self-synchronization effect is discussed. It is demonstrated that the time a bunch of injected ions is conserved by the self-synchronization effect depends on the number of injected ions. In the second part of the thesis the cooling of small anionic cobalt and copper clusters is addressed. Measurements on anionic copper clusters consisting of four to seven atoms are presented and the decay of hot clusters is observed in order to draw conclusions on the internal temperature and the cooling process itself. Afterwards measurements on Co4- are discussed and a measurement scheme based on laser induced delayed electron emission is presented enabling to monitor the internal energy distribution of the clusters over storage time in a temperature-controlled environment. The cooling of initially hot clusters as well as the heating of initially cold clusters were observed.