Abstract by Megan Nielson

Personal Infomation

Presenter's Name

Megan Nielson



Degree Level




Abstract Infomation


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty Advisor

Paul Farnsworth


Characterization of Helium Plasma of Varying Conditions by the Absolute Number Density of Helium Metastable Atoms


Helium plasma is often used as an ambient desorption/ionization (ADI) source for mass spectrometry. Reininger et al.1 determined that these plasmas can be characterized quantitatively by the absolute number density of He metastable atoms (Hem) that they contain. The Hem densities of four different types of Helium plasma were measured with atomic absorption spectroscopy at different points within the plasma.1 Later, using the data collected by Reininger et al.1, Ellis et al.2 created a computational model of a direct current glow discharge that simulated the effects of varying levels of nitrogen and water contamination within the plasma. Our current research will test the predictions made in the model by measuring the Hem in a direct current glow discharge using Helium with varying levels of contamination.


1. Reininger, C.; Woodfield, K.; Keelor, J. D.; Kaylor, A.; Fernandez, F. M.; Farnsworth, P. B. Spectrochim. Acta B 2014, 100, 98–104.

2. Ellis, W. C.; Spencer, R. L.; Reininger, C.; Farnsworth, P. B. J. Anal. At. Spectrom. 2017, 32, 2407–2415.