State-to-state, multi-collision, energy transfer in H–H2 gas ensembles

McCaffery, Anthony J and Marsh, Richard J (2013) State-to-state, multi-collision, energy transfer in H–H2 gas ensembles. Journal of Chemical Physics, 139 (23). p. 234310. ISSN 0021-9606

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Abstract

We use our recently developed computational model of energy flow in gas ensembles to study translation-to-internal energy conversion in an ensemble consisting of H2(0; 0) in a bath of H atoms. This mixture is found in plasmas of industrial importance and also in interstellar clouds. The storage of energy of relative motion as rovibrational energy of H2 represents a potential mechanism for cooling translation. This may have relevance in astrophysical contexts such as the post-recombination epoch of the early universe when hydrogenic species dominated and cooling was a precondition for the formation of structured objects. We find that conversion of translational motion to H2 vibration and rotation is fast and, in our closed system, is complete within around 100 cycles of ensemble collisions. Large amounts of energy become stored as H2 vibration and a tentative mechanism for this unequal energy distribution is suggested. The “structured dis-equilibrium” we observe is found to persist through many collision cycles. In contrast to the rapidity of excitation, the relaxation of H2(6; 10) in H is very slow and not complete after 105 collision cycles. The quasi-equilibrium modal temperatures of translation, rotation, and vibration are found to scale linearly with collision energy but at different rates. This may be useful in estimating the partitioning of energy within a given H + H2 ensemble.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Chemistry
Depositing User: John Spencer
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2017 10:37
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2017 10:41
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/71688
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