Laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy has been employed for the measurements of the ground-state CF and CF2 radical densities in low-pressure and high-density CF4 plasmas generated by helicon wave discharges. In the pulsed operation (5 Hz, 10 ms duration), the radial profiles of the CF and CF2 densities were hollow shape in the discharge phase, which indicates that both radicals were desorbed from the wall and were lost in the plasma column. In the continuous-wave operation, roughly uniform radial profiles were observed for both radicals. Therefore the desorbed radicals in the pulsed discharge seem to originate from the adsorbed species in the afterglow of the previous discharge. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.