Binary and ternary recombination of H3+ and D 3+ ions with electrons in low temperature plasma

J. Glosík, R. Plašil, T. Kotrík, P. Dohnal, J. Varju, M. Hejduk, I. Korolov, Š Roučka, V. Kokoouline

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Measurements of recombination rate coefficients of binary and ternary recombination of H3+ and D3+ ions with electrons in a low temperature plasma are described. The experiments were carried out in the afterglow plasma in helium with a small admixture of Ar and parent gas (H2 or D2). For both ions a linear increase of measured apparent binary recombination rate coefficients (αeff) with increasing helium density was observed: αeff = αBIN + KHe[He]. From the measured dependencies, we have obtained for both ions the binary (αBIN) and the ternary (KHe) rate coefficients and their temperature dependence. For the description of observed ternary recombination a mechanism with two subsequent rate determining steps is proposed. In the first step, in H3++ e- (or D3++ e-) collision, a rotationally excited long-lived Rydberg molecule H3* (or D 3*) is formed. In the following step H 3* (or D3*) collides with a He atom of the buffer gas and this collision prevents autoionization of H3* (or D3*). Lifetimes of the formed H3* (or D3 *) and corresponding ternary recombination rate coefficients have been calculated. The theoretical and measured binary and ternary recombination rate coefficients obtained for H3+ and D3+ ions are in good agreement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2253-2264
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Physics
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sep 10 2010



  • H3+ and O3+ ions
  • He assisted ternary recombination
  • afterglow
  • binary recombination
  • ions
  • lifetime of Rydberg molecule
  • plasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Cite this

Glosík, J., Plašil, R., Kotrík, T., Dohnal, P., Varju, J., Hejduk, M., Korolov, I., Roučka, Š., & Kokoouline, V. (2010). Binary and ternary recombination of H3+ and D 3+ ions with electrons in low temperature plasma. Molecular Physics, 108(17), 2253-2264.