Abstract

Laser-induced optogalvanic (OG) signal oscillations detected in miniature neon glow discharge plasma are investigated using a discharge equivalent-circuit model. The damped oscillations in OG signal are generated when a pulsed dye laser is tuned to a specific neon transition (1s52p2) at 588.2 nm under the discharge conditions where dynamic resistance changes its sign. Penning ionization via quasi-resonant energy transfer collisions between neon gas atoms in metastable state and sputtered electrode atoms in ground state is discussed to explain the negative differential resistance properties of discharge plasma that are attributed to oscillations in the OG signal. The experimentally observed results are simulated by analyzing the behavior of an equivalent discharge-OG circuit. Good agreement between theoretically calculated and experimental results is observed. It is found that discharge plasma is more sensitive and less stable in close vicinity to dynamic resistance sign inversion, which can be useful for weak-optical-transition OG detection.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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