Plasma flow reactor for steady state monitoring of physical and chemical processes at high temperatures

Rev Sci Instrum. 2017 Sep;88(9):093506. doi: 10.1063/1.5001346.


We present the development of a steady state plasma flow reactor to investigate gas phase physical and chemical processes that occur at high temperature (1000 < T < 5000 K) and atmospheric pressure. The reactor consists of a glass tube that is attached to an inductively coupled argon plasma generator via an adaptor (ring flow injector). We have modeled the system using computational fluid dynamics simulations that are bounded by measured temperatures. In situ line-of-sight optical emission and absorption spectroscopy have been used to determine the structures and concentrations of molecules formed during rapid cooling of reactants after they pass through the plasma. Emission spectroscopy also enables us to determine the temperatures at which these dynamic processes occur. A sample collection probe inserted from the open end of the reactor is used to collect condensed materials and analyze them ex situ using electron microscopy. The preliminary results of two separate investigations involving the condensation of metal oxides and chemical kinetics of high-temperature gas reactions are discussed.