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coefficient at high electron temperatures in neon

G. K. Vinogradov, Yu. 6. Golubovskii, V. A. Ivanov,and Yu. M. Kagan
A. A. Zhdanov Leningrad State University
(Submitted April 4. 1973)
Zh. Tekh. Fiz.,5 2584-2590 (December 1973)

The dissociative recombination coefficient is measured in the positive column of a discharge in neon at pres-
sures 50-200 torr and electron densities c 10" cm-'. The recombination coefficient is found as a function of
the temperature over the temperature range 10.000-25.000'K; the function can be approximated by a (Te) -

1, We have previously' proposed a method f o r measuring To tube 0.05 75k + 600 V

the recombination coefficient @(Te) over a broad r a n g e o f
,lectron temperatures. W e have now used this method to
measure the recombination coefficient in the positive col-
,mn of a neon discharge in a cylindrical tube 56 m m in
jiarneter over the neon p r e s s u r e range 50-200 t o r r a t ini-
c u r r e n t s 40-100 mA.
The measurements a r e c a r r i e d out in the diffusepart
,I the discharge before the onset of contraction. Accord-
"gly, a t high p r e s s u r e s the measurements a r e c a r r i e d Fig. 2. Schematic of the switching device.
,lit a t lower c u r r e n t s , and the radial t e m p e r a t u r e inho-
nogeneity c a n be n e g l e ~ t e d . ~
Two cylindrical probes 0.3 m m in d i a m e t e r and 3 m m
ong a r e located a t the axis (perpendicular to the axis) and 2. A rectangular c u r r e n t pulse is used to m e a s u r e
Ire 54 m m a p a r t . the recombination coefficient in the discharge tube.
The determination of the recombination coefficient Figure 1 shows a block d i a g r a m of the power supply;
rom the equations of r e f . 1 r e q u i r e s a knowledge of the Fig. 2 shows a schematic d i a g r a m of the switching device.
nitial value and radial distribution of the electron den- The 5-kV voltage f r o m the high-voltage rectifier i s fed to
ity, n ( r , 0). The radial distribution is found by a diag- a switching circuit that u s e s GMI-83 modulator tubes. The
,ostic method based on the continuous s p e ~ t r u m .In~ the circuit i s turned off and on by pulses from a G5-7A double
.bsence of radial temperature inhomogeneities the radial pulse generator. The c u r r e n t signal, taken f r o m a 36-a
ntensity decay of the continuous spectrum. J A ( r ) , i s pro- r e s i s t o r in the anode c i r c u i t of the discharge tube, i s fed
ortional to the radial distribution of the electron density : to one input of a n S1-17 oscilloscope. The e l e c t r i c field
E(t) i s measured by the double-probe method with the po-
tential-display c i r c u i t shown in Fig. 3 . This c i r c u i t con-
The continuum intensity is measured a t A = 3890 A, s i s t s of t h r e e functional units:
ormal to the discharge tube. The Abel analysis i s c a r - a ) T h e voltage pickup,which u s e s a high-frequency
ied out by the method of NesCor and 01sen4 by means of TN-12MV field-effect t r a n s i s t o r with a n isolated gate.
computer. Under the measured conditions, the input r e s i s t a n c e of
The initial absolute value of the electron density a t this pickup is equal to the r e s i s t a n c e of the blocked D220
le axis, no, i s determined f r o m limiting diodes (lo8 i2 o r higher).

R b) The strobe c i r c u i t i s a n electronic chopper. T h i s

i, = 2ze-6, (Eo)E , p , y ( r , 0 ) rdr. (1 circuit i s controlled by pulses f r o m the second channel of

se is made of the following relationship5 between the

lectron temperature Te and the longitudinal e l e c t r l c field


+ in r p = ' ~ " ~
Fre =zoo

Fig. 1. Block diagram of the electrical power supply. Fig. 3. Schematic of the potential-display circuit.

23 Sov. Phys. Tech. Phys.. Vol. 18. No. 12. June 1974 Copyright @ 1974 American Institute o f Physics
the G5-7A generator, which a r e synchronized with the cur-
r e n t pulses.
C) A capacitor bank is the voltage-display device.
Figure 4 shows a characteristic for the circuit f o r a
d c input voltage. The working p a r t of the characteristic
i s outlined by the dashed lines.
The resolving time of the circuit i s a function of the
frequency of the voltage being studied; in o u r c a s e the rep- Fig. 5
etition frequency i s JX 200 112 and the resolving time i s
A T -- 5 . sec. The final equation is written conveniently a s
Since the pickup has an extremely high resistanceand
the probe c u r r e n t is essentially zero, t h e r e is no distor-
tion of the floating probe potential. The probe potential i s
measured by comparing the voltage to be measured with
p Lf n, (r. Ordr

I n e ( r , tlrdr
0 '
a reference voltage TJ,, for which purpose a B3-33 dc pow-
e r supply is connected in s e r i e s with the potential-display
circuit. where El i s the field immediately after the c u r r e n t drop
In analyzing the operation of the potential-display c i r - (Fig. 6b).
cuit we assume that the input signal has the shapeshown The density ne(r, t) is found f r o m
in Fig. 5a. By adjusting the delay time of the s t r o b e p u l s e
we place this pulse a t t, (Fig. 5b). We adjust the voltage
Ur to make it equal to the voltage taken f r o m the probe,
U i n The r e s u l t i s a deflection of the needle of the indi-
cating device. The circuit can be used to m e a s u r e Win where i s the effective dissociative-recombination coef.
within an uncertainty a s low a s 0.3 V . f ic ient .
The electric field i s calculated f r o m the difference In Eq. (5) we have neglected the l o s s of charge due to
between the probe potentials: ambipolar diffusion to the wall and the appearance of
charge a s a r e s u l t of d i r e c t and stepwise ionization.
E([)= uin~( t ) - IlinzClJ
AL I W e have the familiar equation

where A1 is the distance between the probes. The accura-

cy of the determination of E(t) is governed completely by
the accuracy of the measurements of U, and Al; in ourex-
periments E(t) is measured within a 5%.
where D, = b (kT$e) i s the ambipolar-diffusion coeffi-
3. T o analyze the results we u s e P
cient, and bp i s the mobility of the ~ e :molecular ions?
The dissociative-recombination time i s r , = l/(ano)
1, = 2wb, ( E )E $ n, ( r , t ) rdr, Under the experimental conditions, we have Te ;r 2 '
o lo4'K, no = lo'', Q e lo-', and a pressure of p EJ lootort-
the diffusion time corresponding to these conditions is hvo
where E i s a function of the time. F o r neon we have o r d e r s of magnitude longer than the recombination time.
be(E) -
1 / ( ~ ~ ) ' " also,
; using (2) we find
Since the field E and the temperature decay rapidly
n immediately after the c u r r e n t drop, d i r e c t ionization
i, = const cjB(1)
5 n, ( r , 1) rdr. (3) c e a s e s to play a role.
To evaluate the r o l e of stepwise ionization we must
Equation (3) i s used after the c u r r e n t drop fImm the evaluate the decay time of the metastable atoms. under
value io to the value i t (Fig. 6a). the present conditions the basic mechanism f o r the 1039
of metas table atoms involves transitions to resonance lev

e l s incollisions with electrons and the subsequent ernis-
uout* v sion of resonance lines. Since the c r o s s section for t h w
transitions i s 7 s 1 0 - ~ ~ - 1 0 -c' m2,
~ the corresponding time
f o r these transitions under o u r experimental conditionsi9
;J 1 0 - ~ - 1 0 - s
~e c . Since the discharge time f o r the reso-
Fig. 4. Characteristic of the record-
nance lines under o u r conditions is a sec, W e
ing circuir.
find that the metastable atoms decay within 10-~-10-'
I s e c . This time is one o r two o r d e r s of magnitude short''
I than the density,decay time. The decaying population
'. 7 .5 uin, v metastable atoms during recombination cannot be impor-

- . - -L..- ---I. oh.,. vnl. 18. No. 12, June 1974 Vinogradov et al.
Fig. 6. Current ( a ) , longitudinal e l e c - Fig. 7. Longitudinal field (a), current
tric field (b). and electron density ( c ) (b), and electron density (c) as func-
as functions of the time. tions of the time.

tmt because the decay r a t e is o r d e r s of magnitude lower o r , after substituting into Eq. (4),
than the depopulation rate.
Accordingly for a certain time interval after the cur- - i n ( r . 0)rdr
drop, direct and stepwise ionization a r e unimportant.
st cording to Fig. 6b the field E and thus the temperature n (r. 0 ) rdr
T~ increase a s time elapses so that ionization can become i + n ( r , 0 )j a (7) dz
important after a certain time. Here, it i s important to 0

t&e account of direct ionization and excitation since no

Converting to the function
sinble atoms a r e formed as a result of direct excitation.
Assuming for this estimate that the number of ioniza-
tion events Z i s equal to the total number of inelastic col-
lisions,' we can write
where x = r/R, we find

here ve, and vee a r e the r a t e s of electron-atom and

?lectron-electron collisions. F o r these conditions y al, We use the measured radial distribution y(x) f o r a
~ndthe distribution function i s approximately a Druyvesteyn computer calculation of the function F(Y) for various val-
'unction. Assuming that the density is essentially constant ues of Y, and we construct this function f o r the given
it the end of the time interval of interest, we can write y(x) distribution. By measuring E(t) and calculating
[ E ( ~ ) / E ~ ) ' 'we
~ ] can then find the values of Y(t) for various
t: F r o m these results we construct the function Y(t).
Knowing n(O), we find a ( t ) by graphical differentiation.
From the measured function E(t) we can easily associate
a time t with each value of the electric field. Accordingly,
vhere V1 is the energy of the f i r s t excited level of neon. measurement of ~ ( t yields ) the recombination coefficient
'hen a s a function of E o r , according to (2), the function a(Te).
5. The circuit controlling the discharge can be modi-
fied in such a manner that the electric fieldchanges abrupt-
ly during the discharge (Fig. 7a). At the new constantval-
ue of the electric field, the discharge current falls off
.e., when the change in the electron temperature f r o m the
Wilibrium temperature is about 20% the number of direct
'nization events falls off by an o r d e r of magnitude. Ac-
ordingly, we can neglect ionization essentially throughout
le time interval f r o m the point a t which the current i s c u t
If to the establishment of a new steady state.
4. Solving Eq. (5). taking account of the function cdt),
'e find

Fig. 8. Measured recohbinarion coefficients. p. tort: 1) 200: 2) 75; 3) 50.

'2s Sov. Phyr. Tech. Phys.. Vol. 18. No. 12, June 1974 Vinogradov e t al. 1625
Fig. 9. Relative functional dependence of t h e recombination coefficient on Fig. 10. Effective recombination coefficient as a function of the pressure.
the temperature. p, tort: 1) 200: 2) 75: 3) 50. T h e points show t h e coefficients c a l c u l a t e d from the data of ref. lo.

smoothly.' F o r this purpose a switching device is con- . 6 . Some of the experimental results are shown in
nected in parallel with the discharge tube in the control Fig. 8 a s the values of @(Te)for various p r e s s u r e s . 1-1,~
circuit. quantity a has this functional dependence of the pressurc
because the recombination coefficient which we measure
The small initial drop in the current r e s u l t s f r o m
is an effective recombination coefficient, taking into ac-
shunting of the current to the switch, while the subsequent
count both the relative density of molecular ions and in-
smooth decay r e s u l t s from the recombination of charged
verse transitions f r o m the excited state to the continuum.3
Ln addition to a functional dependence on the pressure, we
The value of the current after the slight initial jump observe a weak functional dependence on the discharge
is current. When we convert these results to relative units,
assuming als,ooo = 1. we find essentially the samedecrease
in o/eff a s a function of the temperature f o r all the experi-
mental conditions; this functional dependence is described
by T , ~ .over~ ~ the temperature range studied (Fig. 9). ~t
and we have i s interesting to compare o u r r e s u l t s with those of ref.
10; f r o m Fig. 10 we s e e that the effective recombination
i ( t )= c o n s t dF 5 n ( r , t ) rdr. coefficient falls off with increasing p r e s s u r e .

The solution of Eq. (5) in this c a s e is 'G. K. Vinogradov. Yu. 8.Golubovskii.V. A. Ivanov, and Yu. M. Kagan.
Zh. Tekh. Fiz.. 2,2186 (1973) [Sov. phys. - T e c h . Phys.. 18.1378(1974)].
'YU. 8 . Golubovskii (I*. 8. Golubovskij) Yu. M. Kagan (lu. h.I. K ~ g r n l ,
a n d P. Michel. Beitr. Plasrnaphys.. 11, 1 2 1 (1971).
'YU. B. Golubovskii. V. A. Ivanov. a n d Yu. M. Kagan. Opt. Spektrosk..z,
Then 213 (19731.
'0. H. Nestor a n d H. N. Olren, in: Ergebnisre der Plasrnaphysik und der
Gaselektronik (ed. R. Rornpe and ht. Steenbek), Akademieverlag, Berlin
%u. 8. Golubovskii, Yu. kl. Kagan, and R. I. Lyagushchenko, Zh. Eksp.
Teor. Fiz.. 2122 (1969) [Sov. Fhys. -jETP, 30. 1204 (1970)l.
'5. C. BIOWn, Basic Data of Plasma Physics, ~ i l e y ( 1 9 6 1 ) .
'A. V. Pl~elps. Phys. Rev.. 114. 1 0 1 1 (1059).
'YU. B. Golubovskii (Ju. B. Golubovskijl, Yu. M. Kagan (Ju. hl. ~ a g a n ) . a n d
A s in the f i r s t method, we calculate the function 4 P. Michel, Reitr. Plasrnaphys.. 5, 442 31968).
for the measured radial distribution a s a function of the %I. M. Kagan and R. I. Lyagushchenko, Lh. TeCh. Fiz., 40, 2013 (11170)
parameter no a t . The function 4 is plotted, and the mea- -
[Sov. Phys. Tech. Phys., 2, 1568 (1971Jl.
s u r e d values of i(t)/i. a r e used to find m . "I. Fhilbrick. F . Y. hlehr. ~ n XI.
d A. Blondi. Phyr. Rev.. 1S1. 271 (1969).

- ---. DL... T P C ~ . Phvs.. vol. 18. No. 12, June 1974 Vinogradov e t al.