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On the accuracy and reliability of different fluid models of the direct current glow discharge

Rafatov, İsmail
We developed and tested 2D "extended fluid model" of a dc glow discharge using COMSOL MULTIPHYSICS software and implemented two different approaches. First, assembling the model from COMSOL's general form pde's and, second, using COMSOL's built-in Plasma Module. The discharge models are based on the fluid description of ions and excited neutral species and use drift-diffusion approximation for the particle fluxes. The electron transport as well as the rates of electron-induced plasma-chemical reactions are calculated using the Boltzmann equation for the EEDF and corresponding collision cross-sections. The self-consistent electric field is calculated from the Poisson equation. Basic discharge plasma properties such as current-voltage characteristics and electron and ion spatial density distributions as well as electron temperature and electric field profiles were studied. While the solutions obtained by two different COMSOL models are essentially identical, the discrepancy between COMSOL and CFD-ACE+ model solutions is about several percents and caused by the difference in the models due to undocumented details in the software packages. We also studied spatial distributions of particle fluxes in discharge plasma and identified the existence of vortex component of the discharge current. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3688875]