An ideal chemical reactor model is used to study the vibrational relaxation of oxygen molecules in their ground electronic state, Σg-, in presence of free electrons. The model accounts for vibrational non-equilibrium between the translational energy mode of the gas and the vibrational energy mode of individual molecules. The vibrational levels of the molecules are treated as separate species, allowing for non-Boltzmann distributions of their population. The electron and vibrational temperatures are varied in the range [0-20,000] K. Numerical results show a fast energy transfer between oxygen molecules and free electron, which causes strong deviation of the vibrational distribution function from Boltzmann distribution, both in heating and cooling conditions. Comparison with Landau-Teller model is considered showing a good agreement for electron temperature range [2000-12,000] K. Finally analytical fit of the vibrational relaxation time is given.
- Vibrational relaxation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry