Ar+ in the Terrestrial Atmosphere
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Ar+ in the terrestrial ionosphere is produced by photoionization and electron impact ionization and by the reaction
N2+(v > 1) + Ar → Ar+ + N2 (1)
The rate coefficient for (1) has been measured by a number of workers and has been found to approach gas kinetic rates. For v=0, the reaction proceeds in the reverse direction. For this reason, the Ar+ densities provide a sensitive measure of the extent of vibrational excitation of N2+ in the terrestrial ionosphere. Model calculations show that at 200 km, half of the source of Ar+ is due to (1). The total density of Ar+ is on the order of 10cm-3 near 200 km.
Fox, J. L.
(1984). Ar+ in the Terrestrial Atmosphere. Eos, 65 (45), 1023.