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A model study of propagation of the first ionization wave during breakdown in a straight tube containing argon

Brok, W.J.M.; van Dijk, J.; Bowden, M.D.; van der Mullen, J.J.A.M. and Kroesen, G. M.W. (2003). A model study of propagation of the first ionization wave during breakdown in a straight tube containing argon. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 36(16) pp. 1967–1979.

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The mechanisms responsible for the propagation of the first anode directed ionization wave that occurs in a straight discharge tube during breakdown are studied by means of a fluid model. The discharge tube contains argon at a pressure of a few Torr and is operated at a do voltage with the cathode heated to thermal electron emission temperatures. The two-dimensional model incorporates continuity and momentum equations for the electrons, for several effective excited states and for the ions, a balance equation for the electron energy and the Poisson equation. The model is capable of describing the first ionization front in a way that is qualitatively consistent with observations made in experiments. The mechanisms behind the breakdown evolution are investigated by considering the temporal and spatial evolution of the quantities described by the model. Previously, researchers have described this breakdown evolution in terms of an RC-line circuit. The validity of this picture is surveyed by considering the distribution of charges within the lamp. The effect of control parameters on the breakdown process and the assumptions that affect the validity of the model for later stages in breakdown are considered.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 1361-6463
Keywords: long discharge-tubes; glow-discharge; gas-discharges; fluid models; simulation; electrons
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Physical Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 6313
Depositing User: Astrid Peterkin
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2007
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2016 16:23
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