Excitation Transfer Reactions in Neon Afterglows at 150 Degrees K, 300 Degrees K and 400 Degrees K.

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The results of an experimental study of excitation transfer reactions in the afterflow period of pulsed discharges in pure neon are presented. The temporal decay of excited atom populations were monitored using the technique of resonance absorption, and absolute excited state populations were determined for the lowest lying manifold of excited states (('3)P(,2), ('3)P(,1), ('3)P(,0), ('1)P(,1)). The density range 5 x 10('17) - 10('19) cm('-3) was examined and rate data determined at operating temperatures of 150(DEGREES)K, 300(DEGREES)K and 400(DEGREES)K through analysis of the individual excited state decay profiles. In agreement with results of previous experimental studies, collisions with ground state neon atoms were found to play the dominant role in quenching individual excited state populations. A matrix of rate constants for neutral induced two-body mixing between the triplet states and three-body quenching of the excited states were determined at each of the operating temperatures. Additionally, rate data was determined for two-body processes involving electrons and for the decay of imprisoned radiation of the resonant state ('3)P(,1). The temperature dependences of the measured rate coefficients indicate a need for refinement of the theoretical potential curves presently available. For example, the temperature variation of both the two-body and three-body rate coefficients for the ('3)P(,2) state warrant a less repulsive long-range potential for the potential curves than currently allowed. Additionally, the large two-body rates found for the ('3)P(,0) state suggest the need for additional coupling mechanisms in the theoretical calculations of mixing rate constants.