The results of theoretical studies of hysteresis transition between the diffuse and constricted modes of a dc glow discharge in argon are presented. It has been shown that the experimentally observed hysteresis of the current voltage characteristic (CVC) at the transition from the constricted to the diffuse mode is caused by the nonlocal formation of the electron energy distribution function (EEDF) while taking into account the heterogeneity of radial fields, namely, the diffusion of high-energy electrons capable of producing gas ionization from the central (constricted) region. The effect of the non-local formation of the EEDF has been described approximately by introducing the effective temperature of the high-energy part of the EEDF and solving the equation for the radial profile of the high-energy part of the EEDF.
52.25.Dg Plasma kinetic equations
52.25.Jm Ionization of plasmas
Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics, Moscow State University, Moscow, 119991, Russia