### Abstract

The authors describe a spectroscopic technique to investigate the transport processes of electrons and the quenching processes of excited metastable molecules under the condition of non-self-sustained Townsend discharges. The technique is applied to pure N_{2}, and N_{2} including NO as an impurity at E/N=282.5 Td and currents less than 10^{-9} A. The quenching factor of N_{2}(A^{3} Sigma _{u}^{+}) metastable by NO, defined by (1-(density of N_{2}(A^{3} Sigma _{u}^{+}) in N_{2} with NO)/(density of N _{2}(A^{3} Sigma _{u}^{+}) in pure N _{2})), is measured as a function of total gas density from the emission spectrum both of the second positive bands of N_{2} and of the gamma system of NO. The spatial profile of N_{2}(A^{3} Sigma _{u}^{+}) is also monitored and estimated by the emission of the gamma system. It will be noted that half of the N_{2}(A^{3} Sigma _{u}^{+}) metastables are deactivated with only 20 PPM of NO at N=1.94*10^{17} cm^{-3} in the low pressure ionisation growth chamber. The results give a quantitative explanation for the rapid decrease of the secondary ionisation coefficient in N_{2} in the presence of small amounts of the impurity. Also the radiative lifetime and the self-quenching rate coefficient are estimated in the present experimental conditions.

Original language | English |
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Article number | 005 |

Pages (from-to) | 2367-2376 |

Number of pages | 10 |

Journal | Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics |

Volume | 17 |

Issue number | 12 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 1984 Dec 1 |

### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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## Cite this

_{2}(A

^{3}Σ

_{u}

^{+}) metastables in the spatial ionisation growth in nitrogen.

*Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics*,

*17*(12), 2367-2376. [005]. https://doi.org/10.1088/0022-3727/17/12/005