In previously published papers [G. Musa et al., Rom. Rep. Phys. 49, 195
(1997); G. Musa et al., Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys. 4, 165 (1998)] we reported a drastic
change of time evolution of the barrier discharge current at the addition of hydrogen to
neon–filling gas of the discharge device. Both, discharge current and discharge emitted
light durations increase at least five times. We established that the main explanation of the
above mentioned behavior consists in the negative-positive ion recombination, process which
has one of the largest known cross–section [M.A. Lieberman and A.J. Lichtenberg, Principles of plasma discharges and material processing (John Wiley & Sons, N.Y.,
1994)]. The first condition to have negative-positive ions recombination is to use as filling
gas of the discharge device an electronegative–electropositive gas mixture [G. Musa et al.,
ESCAMPIG-16, Grenoble France, 2002, Vol. 2, p. 29; G. Musa et al., J. Phys. D:
Appl. Phys. 18, 2119 (1985); A. Baltog et al., Contrib. Plasma Phys. 40, 537 (2000); G. Musa and A. Baltog, Contrib. Plasma Phys. 43,
Additional conditions must be fulfilled in order to ensure enough density of
negative ions necessary for such a recombination process. An increased
“consumption” of electrons is necessary to produce needed negative ions.
Consequently, the wall polarization process is slowing down with subsequent
increase of the light emission and discharge current duration.
Possible use of this increase of light emission at electronegative gas
addition to the filling gas neon as a mean to increase the discharge light
generation efficiency is considered.