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Plasma Diagnostics and Optical Emission Spectroscopy

Posted on: January 28th, 2020

Plasma is an ionized gas under pressure and subjected to intense heating or electromagnetic fields to the point that electrons and positive ions are unbound. Plasma is one of the four fundamental states of matter, but it does not exist on Earth naturally and must be generated by applying heat and pressure. What makes plasma unique from other states of matter is its behavior. The speed of atoms in plasma are higher than in a gas. This movement of charged particles creates an electric current within a magnetic field, and while the overall charge of a plasma is usually neutral, it is also highly conductive.

Even though plasmas are rare at normal Earth conditions, plasma is considered to be the predominant state of matter throughout the universe. For example, the sun and stars are examples of fully ionized plasma, while neon lighting is only partially ionized.

Plasmas are used for a large number of applications in spectroscopy. Most commonly might be thin film deposition and photo-resist etching for semiconductors and solar collectors, but plasmas also have applications in biomedical and aerospace, along with other industries. Plasma diagnostics demand high-resolution spectra and high-speed data capture that Avantes is known for. Our instruments can be found in plasma research and industrial environments all over the globe.

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