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Absolute ground-state nitrogen atom density in a N2/CH4 late afterglow: TALIF experiments and modelling studies

Abstract : Following a first study on a late afterglow in flowing pure nitrogen post-discharge, we report new TALIF (Two-photon Absorption Laser-Induced Fluorescence) measurements of the absolute ground-state atomic nitrogen density N(4 S) and investigate the influence of methane introduced downstream from the discharge by varying the CH 4 mixing ratio from 0 up to 50%. The N (4 S) maximum density is about 2.2 x 10 15 cm -3 in pure N 2 for a residence time of 22 ms and does not change significantly for methane mixing ratio up to ∼ 15%, while above, a drastic decrease is observed. The influence of the residence time has been studied. A kinetic model has been developed to determine the elementary processes responsible for the evolution of the N (4 S) density in N 2 /CH 4 late afterglow. This model shows the same decrease as the experimental results even though absolute density values are always larger by about a factor of 3. In the late afterglow three-body recombination dominates the loss of N (4 S) atoms whatever the CH 4 mixing ratio. For high CH 4 mixing ratio, the destruction process through collisions with CH 3, H 2 CN and NH becomes important and is responsible for the observed decrease of the N (4 S) density.
Keywords : Physical Sciences
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Submitted on : Friday, February 25, 2011 - 2:32:00 PM
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Et Es-Sebbar, M C-Gazeau, Y Benilan, A Jolly, C D Pintassilgo. Absolute ground-state nitrogen atom density in a N2/CH4 late afterglow: TALIF experiments and modelling studies. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, IOP Publishing, 2010, 43 (33), pp.335203. ⟨10.1088/0022-3727/43/33/335203⟩. ⟨hal-00569677⟩

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