The Plasma Data Exchange Project is a community-based project which was initiated as a result of a public discussion held at the 2010 Gaseous Electronics Conference (GEC), a leading international meeting for the Low-Temperature Plasma community. This project aims to address, at least in part, the well-recognized needs for the community to organize the means of collecting, evaluating and sharing data both for modeling and for interpretation of experiments.
At the heart of the Plasma Data Exchange Project is LXcat (pronounced “elecscat”), an open-access website for collecting, displaying, and downloading electron and ion scattering cross sections, swarm parameters (mobility, diffusion coefficient, etc.), reaction rates, energy distribution functions, etc. and other data required for modeling low temperature plasmas. The available data bases have been contributed by members of the community and are indicated by the contributor’s chosen title.
LXCat is a dynamic, open-access, website for collecting, displaying, and downloading ELECtron SCATtering cross sections and swarm parameters (mobility, diffusion coefficient, reaction rates, etc.) required for modeling low temperature, non-equilibrium plasmas. Contributors set up individual databases, and the available databases, indicated by the contributor’s chosen title, include mainly complete sets of electron-neutral scattering cross sections, although the option for introducing partial sets of cross sections exists. A database for measured swarm parameters is also part of LXCat, and this is a growing activity. On-line tools include options for browsing, plotting, and downloading cross section data.1
The electron energy distribution functions (edfs) in low temperature plasmas are in general non-
Maxwellian, and LXCat provides an option for execution of an on-line Boltzmann equation solver to
calculate the edf in homogeneous electric fields. Thus, the user can obtain electron transport and rate
coefficients (averages over the edfs) in pure gases or gas mixtures over a range of values of the reduced electric fields strength, E/N, the ratio of the electric field strength to the neutral density, using cross sections from the available databases. New contributors are welcome and anyone wishing to create a database and upload data can request a username and password. LXCat is part of a larger, community- wide effort aimed at collecting, evaluating, and sharing data relevant to modeling low temperature plasmas.
To illustrate the utility of LXCat in this context, we compare electron swarm parameters in
argon calculated using the different compilations of cross sections presently available on LXCat. These
compilations include quite different groupings of excited states, yet lead to swarm parameters in good