Modeling and simulation

of secondary electron emission coefficient effects

on electrical argon discharge parameters


A. Bouraiou*, M.S. Aida, O. Meglali, A. Mosbah

Laboratoire des Couches Minces et Interfaces, Faculté des sciences, Université Mentouri 25000  Constantine, Algérie

* Corresponding author. E-mail:

Received: 20 February 2007; revised version accepted: 19 February 2008



This work deals with the investigation of the effect of secondary electron emission coefficient g of the cathode material on the electrical argon discharge parameters. For this purpose, we choose the fluid model:  from the two first moments of Boltzmann equation coupled with Poisson’s equation, we establish a series of partial derivatives differential equations that likely describe the whole phenomena in the discharge.

The electrical argon discharge parameters such as: electron and ion densities, total current density and cathode sheath thickness are numerically calculated via a computer program. We have used three values of the secondary electron emission coefficient respectively of silicon, copper and tungsten cathodes. We have found that secondary electron emission coefficient is the most important parameter that influences the electrical argon discharge parameters. The sheath thickness and total current density are decreasing functions of the secondary electron emission.


Keywords: Argon discharge parameters; Fluid model; Boltzmann equation; Secondary electron emission coefficient.

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