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Chin. Phys. B, 2014, Vol. 23(5): 055101    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/23/5/055101

Validity of the two-term Boltzmann approximation employed in the fluid model for high-power microwave breakdown in gas

Zhao Peng-Cheng (赵朋程), Liao Cheng (廖成), Yang Dan (杨丹), Zhong Xuan-Ming (钟选明)
Institute of Electromagnetics, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031, China
Abstract  The electron energy distribution function (EEDF), predicted by the Boltzmann equation solver BOLSIG+ based on the two-term approximation, is introduced into the fluid model for simulating the high-power microwave (HPM) breakdown in argon, nitrogen, and air, and its validity is examined by comparing with the results of particle-in-cell Monte Carlo collision (PIC/MCC) simulations as well as the experimental data. Numerical results show that, the breakdown time of the fluid model with the Maxwellian EEDF matches that of the PIC/MCC simulations in nitrogen; however, in argon under high pressures, the results from the Maxwellian EEDF were poor. This is due to an overestimation of the energy tail of the Maxwellian EEDF in argon breakdown. The prediction of the fluid model with the BOLSIG+ EEDF, however, agrees very well with the PIC/MCC prediction in nitrogen and argon over a wide range of pressures. The accuracy of the fluid model with the BOLSIG+ EEDF is also verified by the experimental results of the air breakdown.
Keywords:  fluid model      electron energy distribution function      gas breakdown      particle-in-cell Monte Carlo collision (PIC/MCC) simulation  
Received:  04 June 2013      Revised:  07 September 2013      Accepted manuscript online: 
PACS:  51.50.+v (Electrical properties)  
  52.80.Pi (High-frequency and RF discharges)  
  52.35.Mw (Nonlinear phenomena: waves, wave propagation, and other interactions (including parametric effects, mode coupling, ponderomotive effects, etc.))  
Fund: Project supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (Grant No. 2013CB328904), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China, and the Open Research Fund of Key Laboratory of Cognitive Radio and Information Processing of Ministry of Education of China.
Corresponding Authors:  Liao Cheng     E-mail:
About author:  51.50.+v; 52.80.Pi; 52.35.Mw

Cite this article: 

Zhao Peng-Cheng (赵朋程), Liao Cheng (廖成), Yang Dan (杨丹), Zhong Xuan-Ming (钟选明) Validity of the two-term Boltzmann approximation employed in the fluid model for high-power microwave breakdown in gas 2014 Chin. Phys. B 23 055101

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