Russian Journal of Physical Chemistry B

, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 807–818 | Cite as

Prebreakdown air ionization in the atmosphere

  • N. V. Ardelyan
  • V. L. Bychkov
  • S. A. Volkov
  • K. V. Kosmachevskii
  • I. V. Kochetov
Chemical Physics of Atmospheric Phenomena


This paper is devoted to analyzing the creation and destruction of electrons at early stages of electric-discharge development in air at altitudes of 0–90 km. The processes of ionization in an external electric field and background ionization, electron attachment and detachment from atomic and molecular oxygen, negative-ion charge exchange and conversion are considered. The pressure and temperature dependences of the rate constants for the processes have been taken into account. The electric field strength at which effective air ionization begins is shown to decrease with increasing altitude. Numerical simulations based on a detailed plasma-chemical model with allowance made for the gas heating by a discharge have been performed.


ionization breakdown gas discharge elementary processes atmosphere 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. V. Ardelyan
    • 2
  • V. L. Bychkov
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. A. Volkov
    • 1
  • K. V. Kosmachevskii
    • 2
  • I. V. Kochetov
    • 1
  1. 1.Moscow Radio Engineering InstituteRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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