The electron energy distribution in electron beam (e beam) excited Ar/Kr and Ne/Xe gas mixtures is examined in detail. The binary rare-gas mixtures are similar to those used in excimer lasers. Cooling processes for the secondary electrons generated in the gas mixture plasma by the e beam are calculated using a reduced Boltzmann equation in which elastic and electron-electron collisions for electron energy distributions above the first excitation threshold of the rare gas are ignored. During the calculations for the Ar/Kr and Ne/Xe mixtures, all electron-related reactions and the interaction between the two different rare gases in the mixture are simultaneously considered. The high-energy secondary electrons produce a steady-state distribution within a very short time; however, it is found that the distribution is not Maxwellian. W values [eV/electron-ion pair] and yields of rare-gas excited states calculated from the steady-state high-energy electron distribution show a dependence on the mixture composition, especially for mixtures with low concentrations of the minor rare gas. This implies that the practice in excimer kinetics models of using the W values determined from pure rare gases is not entirely accurate.
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