Production of metastable Ar atoms in a low-pressure inductively coupled plasma glow discharge was calculated using a simple kinetic scheme of the balance between production by electron excitation and loss by diffusion and electron quenching. The calculated results showed good agreement with the results measured by using resonant optical absorption spectroscopy. Adding N(2) into the argon gas discharge caused a considerable decrease in the density of metastable Ar atoms. The variation in the number of metastable atoms could be explained by using balance kinetics including the quenching loss of metastable atoms due to N(2).
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