Electron kinetics in simple liquids at high electric fields

  • Kunhardt E
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A model for the motion of an electron in a simple liquid is presented. It is used in the Monte Carlo simulation of the behavior of an assembly of electrons in liquid argon subjected to high electric fields. To implement this simulation, a set of scattering rates for electrons have been obtained. Electron-energy distribution, transport parameters (drift velocity, longitudinal, and transverse diffusion coefficients), and ionization rate have been calculated. The distribution function has been found to be far from the usually assumed Maxwellian form. For fields above 10 kV/cm, the drift velocity decreases with increasing field, changing to a positive slope for fields above approximately 500 kV/cm. At higher fields, the ratio of the longitudinal to transverse diffusion coefficient becomes greater than 1. These observations are a consequence of having, with increasing field, a maximum in the backscattering rate, and an increasing number of electrons with energies above that corresponding to the maximum in the total scattering rate. The threshold field for ionization has been calculated to be approximately 2 MV/cm.

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  • Erich E. Kunhardt

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