Deviations from the local field approximation in negative streamer heads

C. Li, W.J.M. Brok, U.M. Ebert, J.J.A.M. Mullen, van der

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Negative streamer ionization fronts in nitrogen under normal conditions are investigated both in a particle model and in a fluid model in local field approximation. The parameter functions for the fluid model are derived from swarm experiments in the particle model. The front structure on the inner scale is investigated in a one-dimensional setting, allowing reasonable run time and memory consumption and high numerical accuracy without introducing superparticles. If the reduced electric field immediately before the front is 50 kV/(cm bar), solutions of fluid and particle model agree very well. If the field increases up to 200 kV/(cm bar), the solutions of particle and fluid model deviate, in particular, the ionization level behind the front becomes up to 60% higher in the particle model while the velocity is rather insensitive. Particle and fluid model deviate because electrons with high energies do not yet fully run away from the front, but are somewhat ahead. This leads to increasing ionization rates in the particle model at the very tip of the front. The energy overshoot of electrons in the leading edge of the front actually agrees quantitatively with the energy overshoot in the leading edge of an electron swarm or avalanche in the same electric field
Original languageEnglish
Article number123305
Pages (from-to)123305-1/14
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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