We demonstrate impact ionization and dissociative recombination of neon (Ne) atoms by means of seeded-electron heating and subsequent electron–atom collisions in an ultraviolet plasma grating, allowing for a substantial fraction of the neutral Ne atomic population to reside in high-lying excited states. A buffer gas with relatively low ionization potential (nitrogen or argon) was used to provide high-density seed electrons. A three-step excitation model is verified by the fluorescence emission from the impact excitation of Ne atoms.
© 2013 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: October 22, 2012
Revised Manuscript: December 18, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: December 31, 2012
Published: February 6, 2013
Liping Shi, Wenxue Li, Hui Zhou, Liang’en Ding, and Heping Zeng, "Impact excitation of neon atoms by heated seed electrons in filamentary plasma gratings," Opt. Lett. 38, 398-400 (2013)