This study details the development, validation, and utilization of a multi-term Boltzmann equation (BE) model to benchmark argon cross-section sets for their use in low temperature plasma models. First, a complete derivation of the multi-term BE model is given. The multi-term BE model is verified by comparing calculated transport coefficients to known solutions for both conservative and non-conservative model gases. A general comparison between the solutions of the multi-term BE model and the solutions of the two-term BE model, BOLSIG+ , and the Monte Carlo collision model, METHES, is also reported. The multi-term BE model is used to calculate electron swarm parameters from three independently developed argon cross-section sets, which are compared with experimental data. Swarm parameters calculated from the Biagi cross-section set feature the best agreement with experimental data, with the exception of the first Townsend coefficient, which is best reproduced using the cross-section set of Zatsarinny and Bartschat.
- argon cross-sections
- electron swarm parameters
- multi-term Boltzmann equation