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Collision-induced alignment of NO+ drifting in argon: Calculated distribution functions and microscopic quadrupole alignment parameters

TitleCollision-induced alignment of NO+ drifting in argon: Calculated distribution functions and microscopic quadrupole alignment parameters
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsChen, X, Araghi, R, Baranowski, R, Thachuk, M
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume116
Pagination6605-6613
Date PublishedApr
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0021-9606
KeywordsAR-NO+, ATOMIC GASES, EXPANSIONS, ION MOBILITY SPECTROMETRY, MOLECULAR-DYNAMICS, ROTATIONAL ALIGNMENT, SCATTERING, SUPERSONIC, SURFACES, TRANSPORT, VELOCITY DISTRIBUTIONS
Abstract

Molecular dynamics simulations of NO+ drifting in argon are presented. In this system, the ion-bath gas mass ratio is close to but less than unity, thus increasing the importance of inelastic collisions. Strong velocity-angular momentum coupling is found, and in particular the quadrupolar alignment parameter as a function of the velocity parallel with the field takes on, with decreasing velocities, values that start as negative, become positive, and subsequently decay toward negative. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the decay of this alignment towards negative values at the low end of the velocity distribution. The accuracy of an approximate distribution function [R. Baranowski and M. Thachuk, Phys. Rev. A 63, 032503 (2001)] is also examined in detail. It is found to give results that are generally qualitatively correct, and for many properties, semiquantitatively correct as well. The agreement, however, is not as good as that found for systems with ion-bath gas ratios greatly exceeding unity. (C) 2002 American Institute of Physics.

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