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Langmuir probe measurements of electron density and temperature are made in the plume of a dc arcjet reactor. A dc arc is struck in an argon or argon/hydrogen mixture at 6 atm pressure and expands through a converging/diverging nozzle into the reactor with a pressure of 25 Torr. Methane and methane/nitric oxide are added in the diverging nozzle, and diamond film grows on a substrate in the gas plume. Electron temperatures of 1–2 eV are significantly hotter than the neutral gas temperature in the plume. Electron densities range from 1010 to 1013 cm-3, well above the Saha equilibrium for the gas temperature and pressure and well below the equilibrium for the electron temperature. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.
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