Atom-atom ionization mechanism in Argon-Xenon mixtures


The atom-atom ionization process occurring in high-purity argon-xenon mixtures has been investigated by means of a conventional shock tube employing a microwave probe to monitor the electron-generation rate. All tests were conducted at approximately atmospheric pressure and at temperatures in the range between 5000° and 9000°K, corresponding to a neutral-particle density of 7.0 X 10^(17) cm^(-3). The cross-sectional slope constant for xenon ionized by collision with an argon atom is 1.8 X 10^(-20) cm^2/eV±20%, that is, equal to that for xenon ionized by collision with another xenon atom. The data for the reaction of argon ionizing xenon are consistent with an activation energy of 8.315 eV, that is, of the xenon-xenon, atom-atom ionization process. No data were obtained for xenon ionizing argon. Good correlation was obtained between the cross sections for electron elastic momentum exchange derived from the microwave experiment and those obtained from beam experiments. The argon-xenon ionization cross section implies that, for atom-atom processes in the noble gases at pressures ~ 1 atm and temperatures ~2/3 eV, the ionization cross section is independent of the electronic structure of the projectile atom

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