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Ionization kinetics of optically excited lithium vapour under conditions of negative electron mobility

Gorbunov, N.A., Melnikov, A.S., Smurov, I. and Bray, I. (2001) Ionization kinetics of optically excited lithium vapour under conditions of negative electron mobility. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 34 (9). pp. 1379-1388.

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This work, based on the numerical solution of the Boltzmann equation, analyses the influence of ionization processes on the shape of the electron energy distribution function (EEDF) in a mixture of molecular nitrogen, heavy inert gases and resonant excited lithium vapour. The convergent close-coupling method is used to estimate the singly differential cross sections for the ionization of Li(2S) and Li(2P) atoms by electron impact. The composition of the three-component mixture, when the negative electron mobility (NEM) can be observed, is determined. The mixture's ionization degree range and the relative density of the resonant excited lithium atoms favourable for the maximal NEM are found. It is shown that under optimal conditions the ionization rate is determined by electron-impact ionization of the Li(2P) states. In this case the characteristic time of EEDF formation proved to be shorter than the ionization time. Based on this fact, it is suggested how to realize NEM in a quasi-stationary regime under conditions of increasing electron density caused by the resonant radiation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Centre for Atomic, Molecular and Surface Physics
Publisher: IOP Publishing Ltd
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