Basic phenomena in low-pressure noble gas discharges: The role of heavy particle induced processes

P. Hartmann, Z. Donkó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We have studied in detail the role of heavy particle processes in the gas phase (fast atom-atom and ion-atom collisions) and at the electrode surfaces (impact of fast atoms and ions on the metal surface) in low pressure He and Ar d.c. discharges by means of computer simulation and experiments. Our numerical studies have been based on Monte Carlo and hybrid (Monte Carlo + fluid) simulations. We have quantified the contributions of these processes to the characteristic breakdown behavior (Paschen curve) of He discharges, the complex self-sustainment mechanism of a low pressure, 4000 Volt helium discharge and the characteristic light emission profiles of Ar discharges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-217
Number of pages25
JournalActa Physica Hungarica, Series B: Quantum Electronics
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2004



  • Gas discharge
  • Heavy particle
  • Hybrid simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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