Negative absolute electron mobility, Joule cooling and the second law

Robson, R.E., Petrovic, Z.Lj., Raspopovic, Z.M., and Loffhagen, D. (2003) Negative absolute electron mobility, Joule cooling and the second law. Journal of Chemical Physics, 119 (21). pp. 11249-11252.

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A number of recent theoretical investigations of electron motion in attaching gases demonstrate the possibility of a steady-state situation in which the electric current opposes the applied field. This phenomenon, which has been called “negative absolute electron mobility”, implies a Joule cooling effect and an associated negative entropy production, suggesting, at first glance, a possible violation of the second law of thermodynamics. In this article we show that the entropy production has in fact two components, the expected negative contribution due to “Joule cooling,” and an additional positive part arising from “attachment heating.” We insist that the total entropy production be positive, in accordance with the second law, and this has the practical implication that the measurable (“bulk”) electron drift velocity must always be positive, even though the actual average (“flux”) velocity may be negative. We discuss the phenomenon physically and take as a numerical example electrons in Ar/F2 mixtures, using Monte Carlo simulation and approximate momentum transfer theory methods to highlight the distinction between the two types of transport coefficient.

Item ID: 9638
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1089-7690
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2010 23:26
FoR Codes: 02 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 0202 Atomic, Molecular, Nuclear, Particle and Plasma Physics > 020201 Atomic and Molecular Physics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences @ 100%
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