We present an experimental method that makes possible in-situ measurements of the electron loss rate in arbitrary gas mixtures. A weakly ionized plasma is induced via resonant multiphoton ionization of trace amounts of nitric oxide seeded into the gas, and homodyne microwave scattering detection is used to study the dynamics of the electron loss mechanisms. Using this approach, the attachment rate for electrons to molecular oxygen in room temperature, atmospheric pressure air is determined. The measured 0.76 × 108 s-1 attachment rate is in very good agreement with predictions based on literature data.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)