Vekselman, V.; Khrabry, A.; Kaganovich, I.; Stratton, B.; Selinsky, R. S.; Raitses, Y.
Delineating the dominant processes responsible for nanomaterial synthesis in a plasma
environment requires measurements of the precursor species contributing to the growth of
nanostructures. We performed comprehensive measurements of spatial and temporal profiles of
carbon dimers in sub-atmospheric-pressure carbon arc by laser-induced fluorescence.
Measured spatial profiles of carbon dimers coincide with the growth region of carbon nanotubes (Fang et al
2016 Carbon 107 273-80) and vary depending on the arc operation mode, which is determined
by the discharge current and the ablation rate of the graphite anode. The carbon dimer density profile
exhibits large spatial and time variations due to motion of the arc core. A comparison of the
experimental data with the 2D simulation results of self-consistent arc modeling shows a good
agreement. The model predicts well the main processes determining spatial profiles of carbon