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  1. Cited by 2
  2. The sputtering of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) by impacts of energetic xenon ions is investigated using a molecular dynamics (MD) model. The model is implemented within an open-source MD framework that utilizes graphics processing units to accelerate its calculations, allowing the sputtering process to be studied in much greater detail than has been feasible in the past. Integrated sputter yields are computed over a range of ion energies from 20 eV to 300 eV, and incidence angles from 0° to 75°. Sputtering of boron is shown to occur at energies as low as 40 eV at normal incidence, and sputtering of nitrogen atmore » as low as 30 eV at normal incidence, suggesting a threshold energy between 20 eV and 40 eV. The sputter yields at 0° incidence are compared to existing experimental data and are shown to agree well over the range of ion energies investigated. The semi-empirical Bohdansky curve and an empirical exponential function are fit to the data at normal incidence, and the threshold energy for sputtering is calculated from the Bohdansky curve fit as 35 ± 2 eV. These results are shown to compare well with experimental observations that the threshold energy lies between 20 eV and 40 eV. It is demonstrated that h-BN sputters predominantly as atomic boron and diatomic nitrogen, and the velocity distribution function (VDF) of sputtered boron atoms is investigated. The calculated VDFs are found to reproduce the Sigmund-Thompson distribution predicted by Sigmund's linear cascade theory of sputtering. The average surface binding energy computed from Sigmund-Thompson curve fits is found to be 4.5 eV for ion energies of 100 eV and greater. This compares well to the value of 4.8 eV determined from independent experiments.« less
  3. Investigation of O{sub 2}–N collisions is performed by means of the quasi-classical trajectory method on the two lowest ab initio potential energy surfaces at temperatures relevant to hypersonic flows. A complete set of bound–bound and bound–free transition rates is obtained for each precollisional rovibrational state. Special attention is paid to the vibrational and rotational relaxations of oxygen as a result of chemically non-reactive interaction with nitrogen atoms. The vibrational relaxation of oxygen partially occurs via the formation of an intermediate NO{sub 2} complex. The efficient energy randomization results in rapid vibrational relaxation at low temperatures, compared to other molecular systemsmore » with a purely repulsive potential. The vibrational relaxation time, computed by means of master equation studies, is nearly an order of magnitude lower than the relaxation time in N{sub 2}–O collisions. The rotational nonequilibrium starts to play a significant effect at translational temperatures above 8000 K. The present work provides convenient relations for the vibrational and rotational relaxation times as well as for the quasi-steady dissociation rate coefficient and thus fills a gap in data due to a lack of experimental measurements for this system.« less
  4. Cited by 1
  5. A master equation study of vibrational relaxation and dissociation of oxygen is conducted using state-specific O{sub 2}–O transition rates, generated by extensive trajectory simulations. Both O{sub 2}–O and O{sub 2}–O{sub 2} collisions are concurrently simulated in the evolving nonequilibrium gas system under constant heat bath conditions. The forced harmonic oscillator model is incorporated to simulate the state-to-state relaxation of oxygen in O{sub 2}–O{sub 2} collisions. The system of master equations is solved to simulate heating and cooling flows. The present study demonstrates the importance of atom-diatom collisions due to the extremely efficient energy randomization in the intermediate O{sub 3} complex.more » It is shown that the presence of atomic oxygen has a significant impact on vibrational relaxation time at temperatures observed in hypersonic flow. The population of highly-excited O{sub 2} vibrational states is affected by the amount of atomic oxygen when modeling the relaxation under constant heat bath conditions. A model of coupled state-to-state vibrational relaxation and dissociation of oxygen is also discussed.« less
  6. The direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method is the primary numerical technique for analysis of rarefied gas flows. While recent progress in computational chemistry is beginning to provide vibrationally resolved transition and reaction cross sections that can be employed in DSMC calculations, the particle nature of the standard DSMC method makes it difficult to use this information in a statistically significant way. The current study introduces a new technique that makes it possible to resolve all of the vibrational energy levels by using a master equation approach along with temperature-dependent transition rates. The new method is compared to the standardmore » DSMC technique for several heat bath and shock wave conditions and demonstrates the ability to resolve the full vibrational manifold at the expected overall rates of relaxation. The ability of the new master equation approach to the DSMC method for resolving, in particular, the high-energy states addresses a well-known, longstanding deficiency of the standard DSMC method.« less
  7. A perturbation analysis of ionization oscillations, which cause low frequency oscillations of the discharge plasma, in Hall effect thrusters is presented including the electron energy equation in addition to heavy-species transport. Excitation and stabilization of such oscillations, often called the breathing mode, are discussed in terms of the growth rate obtained from the linear perturbation equations of the discharge plasma. The instability induced from the ionization occurs only when the perturbation in the electron energy is included while the neutral atom flow contributes to the damping of the oscillation. Effects of the electron energy loss mechanisms such as wall heatmore » loss, inelastic collisions, and convective heat flux are discussed. It is shown that the ionization oscillations can be damped when the electron transport is reduced and the electron temperature increases so that the energy loss to the wall stabilizes the ionization instability.« less
  8. A hypersonic vehicle traveling at a high speed disrupts the distribution of internal states in the ambient flow and introduces a nonequilibrium distribution in the post-shock conditions. We investigate the vibrational relaxation in diatom-atom collisions in the range of temperatures between 1000 and 10 000 K by comparing results of extensive fully quantum-mechanical and quasi-classical simulations with available experimental data. The present paper simulates the interaction of molecular oxygen with argon as the first step in developing the aerothermodynamics models based on first principles. We devise a routine to standardize such calculations also for other scattering systems. Our results demonstrate verymore » good agreement of vibrational relaxation time, derived from quantum-mechanical calculations with the experimental measurements conducted in shock tube facilities. At the same time, the quasi-classical simulations fail to accurately predict rates of vibrationally inelastic transitions at temperatures lower than 3000 K. This observation and the computational cost of adopted methods suggest that the next generation of high fidelity thermochemical models should be a combination of quantum and quasi-classical approaches.« less
  9. A Hall thruster is a cross-field plasma device used for spacecraft propulsion. An important unresolved issue in the development of Hall thrusters concerns the effect of discharge oscillations in the range of 10–30 kHz on their performance. The use of a high speed Langmuir probe system and ultra-fast imaging of the discharge plasma of a Hall thruster suggests that the discharge oscillation mode, often called the breathing mode, is strongly correlated to an axial global ionization mode. Stabilization of the global oscillation mode is achieved as the magnetic field is increased and azimuthally rotating spokes are observed. A hybrid-direct kinetic simulationmore » that takes into account the transport of electronically excited atoms is used to model the discharge plasma of a Hall thruster. The predicted mode transition agrees with experiments in terms of the mean discharge current, the amplitude of discharge current oscillation, and the breathing mode frequency. It is observed that the stabilization of the global oscillation mode is associated with reduced electron transport that suppresses the ionization process inside the channel. As the Joule heating balances the other loss terms including the effects of wall loss and inelastic collisions, the ionization oscillation is damped, and the discharge oscillation stabilizes. A wide range of the stable operation is supported by the formation of a space charge saturated sheath that stabilizes the electron axial drift and balances the Joule heating as the magnetic field increases. Finally, it is indicated from the numerical results that there is a strong correlation between the emitted light intensity and the discharge current.« less
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"Boyd, Iain"

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