High temperature electronic excitation and ionization rates in gases
Abstract
The relaxation times for electronic excitation due to electron bombardment of atoms was found to be quite short, so that electron kinetic temperature (T sub e) and the electron excitation temperature (T asterisk) should equilibrate quickly whenever electrons are present. However, once equilibrium has been achieved, further energy to the excited electronic states and to the kinetic energy of free electrons must be fed in by collisions with heavy particles that cause vibrational and electronic state transitions. The rate coefficients for excitation of electronic states produced by heavy particle collision have not been well known. However, a relatively simple semiclassical theory has been developed here which is analytic up to the final integration over a Boltzmann distribution of collision energies; this integral can then be evaluated numerically by quadrature. Once the rate coefficients have been determined, the relaxation of electronic excitation energy can be evaluated and compared with the relaxation rates of vibrational excitation. Then the relative importance of these two factors, electronic excitation and vibrational excitation by heavy particle collision, on the transfer of energy to free electron motion, can be assessed.
 Publication:

Final Report Oregon Univ
 Pub Date:
 December 1991
 Bibcode:
 1991uor..rept.....H
 Keywords:

 Electron Bombardment;
 Electron Energy;
 Electron Mobility;
 Electron States;
 Electron Transitions;
 Excitation;
 Free Electrons;
 Kinetic Energy;
 Particle Collisions;
 Particle Motion;
 Boltzmann Distribution;
 Coefficients;
 Quadratures;
 Vibration;
 Atomic and Molecular Physics