Discharge plasmas at high pressures (up to and exceeding atmospheric pressure), where single collision conditions no longer prevail, provide a fertile environment for the experimental study of collisions and radiative processes dominated by (i) step-wise processes, i.e., the excitation of an already excited atomic/molecular state and by (ii) three-body collisions leading, for instance, to the formation of excimers. The dominance of collisional and radiative processes beyond binary collisions involving ground-state atoms and molecules in such environments allows for many interesting applications of high-pressure plasmas such as high power lasers, opening switches, novel plasma processing applications and sputtering, absorbers and reflectors for electromagnetic waves, remediation of pollutants and waste streams, and excimer lamps and other noncoherent vacuum-ultraviolet light sources. Here recent progress is summarized in the use of hollow cathode discharge devices with hole dimensions in the range 0.1-0.5 mm for the generation of vacuum-ultraviolet light.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics