The change in the spatiotemporal structure of the E-to-H transition of an inductively coupled plasma in Ar is optically investigated as a function of time during the transition. Short-lived excited atoms Ar(2p1) and Ar(2p9) with different excitation processes have been used as optical probes. The temporal change from a capacitive to an inductive mode is demonstrated in two-dimensional real space. Different contributions of low-and high-energy electrons to the transition are discussed in terms of the integrated emission intensity from both excited atoms. The optical two-dimensional images enable us to understand the sustaining mechanism and the transition from E-to-H mode.
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