The measurement of absolute densities of ubiquitous OH radicals and gas temperatures in water containing plasmas has recently drawn a lot of attention. In this paper, we extend the self-absorption model introduced in Du et al 2016 Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. 25 04LT02 with a description of the excited state by a superposition of two Boltzmann distributions to take the non-thermal rotational distribution of the excited state into account. This technique is applied to a diffuse He + H2O RF discharge and it is shown that in addition to the determination of the ground state OH density and rotational temperature, the properties of the excited state OH(A) can also be simultaneously determined. A model of the steady-state distribution of the hot and cold group density of OH(A) is able to describe the dependence of the rotational population distributions of the excited state as a function of the water concentration. The method is also applied to a filamentary Ar + H2O DBD. While the non-homogeneous nature of the DBD leads to complications, the production of OH(A) by multiple production mechanisms leading to a complex nascent rotational population distribution causes the fitting procedure of the emission spectrum (with self-absorption) to break down.
- OH radical densities
- atmospheric pressure plasma
- optical emission spectroscopy