Thermal relaxation of molecular oxygen in collisions with nitrogen atoms
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Investigation of O2-N collisions is performed by means of the quasi-classical trajectory method on the two lowest ab initio potential energy surfaces at temperatures relevant to hypersonic flows. A complete set of bound-bound and bound-free transition rates is obtained for each precollisional rovibrational state. Special attention is paid to the vibrational and rotational relaxations of oxygen as a result of chemically non-reactive interaction with nitrogen atoms. The vibrational relaxation of oxygen partially occurs via the formation of an intermediate NO2 complex. The efficient energy randomization results in rapid vibrational relaxation at low temperatures, compared to other molecular systems with a purely repulsive potential. The vibrational relaxation time, computed by means of master equation studies, is nearly an order of magnitude lower than the relaxation time in N2-O collisions. The rotational nonequilibrium starts to play a significant effect at translational temperatures above 8000 K. The present work provides convenient relations for the vibrational and rotational relaxation times as well as for the quasi-steady dissociation rate coefficient and thus fills a gap in data due to a lack of experimental measurements for this system.
author list (cited authors)
Andrienko, D. A., & Boyd, I. D.