Effect of small admixtures of N 2, H 2 or O 2 on the electron drift velocity in argon: Experimental measurements and calculations

M. Stano, N. Pinhão, D. Loffhagen, M. Kučera, Z. Donkó, Š Matejčík

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The electron drift velocity in argon with admixtures of up to 2% of nitrogen, hydrogen or oxygen is measured in a pulsed Townsend system for reduced electric fields ranging from 0.1 Td to 2.5 Td. The results are compared with those obtained by Monte Carlo simulations and from the solution of the electron Boltzmann equation using two different solution techniques: a multiterm method based on Legendre polynomial expansion of the angular dependence of the velocity distribution function and the S n method applied to a density gradient expansion representation of the distribution function. An almost perfect agreement between the results of the three numerical methods and, in general, very good agreement between the experimental and the calculated results is obtained. Measurements in Ar-O 2 mixtures were limited by electron attachment to oxygen molecules, which contributes to the measured drift velocity. As a result of this attachment contribution, the bulk drift velocity becomes larger than the flux drift velocity if attachment is more probable for electrons with energy below the mean value and smaller in the opposite case. Attachment also contributes to the negative differential conductivity observed in Ar-O 2 mixtures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-498
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Physical Journal D
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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