2020 Volume 63 Issue 6 Pages 281-283
To investigate the neutral xenon density distribution of electric thrusters such as ion and Hall thrusters, two-photon absorption laser-induced fluorescence (TALIF) spectroscopy was applied to a microwave cathode. First, the background pressure of the vacuum chamber was measured by TALIF. In the present measurements, the ground state was excited by a 224.29 nm laser, and 834.68 nm fluorescence was detected. The first measurement confirmed that the fluorescence intensity linearly increases with respect to the ground state number density. Based on this result, the density of neutral ground-state xenon was measured at the exit of the nozzle of the microwave cathode. The variation in the density with the microwave power was successfully measured at xenon flow rates of 0.029 and 0.098 mg/s. The measured densities varied from 2.3 × 1019 to 8.4 × 1019 m3 with a maximum error of ±20% due to the plasma fluorescence.