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I'm working on a project which involves superheating nitrogen to a state of plasma. I was considering using my Fusor, but this project has nothing to do with plasma, and I believe that there are way more efficient goals for achieving plasma. Thank you for helping a fellow scientist (in the making)

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you need to put it into something? $\endgroup$ – Jimmy360 Apr 24 '15 at 5:41
  • $\begingroup$ I know a method, but removing from the container would be difficult. $\endgroup$ – Jimmy360 Apr 24 '15 at 5:43
  • $\begingroup$ Look into radio-frequency electromagnetic fields. I think this is the common way to produce plasma. $\endgroup$ – engineer Apr 24 '15 at 6:31
  • $\begingroup$ @TheloniousMonkey Do you have any other requirements besides using nitrogen? What pressures do you want to operate at? What size volume are you working with? What equipment do you already have available to you? $\endgroup$ – iwantmyphd Nov 15 '15 at 22:43
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In a comment engineer has suggested using radio frequency induction, and this seems an excellent idea. The technique is widely used, for example in plasma etching, and it's not especially high tech. There is a Wikipedia article that describes the technique, though this is a bit short on practical advice. A Google search returns lots of likely looking hits.

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Perhaps you could fill us in on some more details about what your application is. There are a whole bunch of ways to produce plasmas and the techniques vary largely by the application. For example DC or RF fields applied across a very small gap are used for plasmas that need to be produced at atmospheric pressures (DBDs). At the other end of a scale, a mixture of high energy beams of atoms and wave heating are used to drive the very temperature plasmas required for fusion experiments (tokamaks.

One of the easiest ways to produce a plasma is using radiofrequency fields as suggested above. There are a whole bunch of ways of doing this too though, usually by using different shaped antennas (CCP, ICP, helicon for examples). The easiest of these is probably an inductively coupled plasma reactor (ICP), which would just be a copper wire would around you vacuum tube a few times with radio frequency power (13.56Mz is common) applied. The power you need to apply will depend mostly on the size of your device and the pressure of the gas. Nitrogen isn't too difficult though, so if it's a lowish pressure (~100mTorr) and not too large (say 20 cm long and 5-10 cm in radius), a <200 W would produce a plasma.

Let me know exactly what you're trying to achieve though and I can provide more details.

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