Recombination of hydrogen atoms on fine-grain graphite
ABSTRACT The probability of recombination of hydrogen atoms on surfaces of fine-grain graphite EK98 was investigated as a function of surface roughness. The source of hydrogen atoms used in this experiment was weakly ionised plasma created with an inductively coupled radiofrequency generator at pressures from 30 Pa to 175 Pa in hydrogen. Hydrogen atom density was measured by means of fibre optic catalytic probes. The recombination coefficient of the graphite samples was determined by observing their impact on the spatial distribution of the atom density in a closed side-arm of the reactor. Smith's diffusion model was used to calculate the values of the recombination coefficient. The measured recombination coefficient was found to increase much faster than the measured effective surface. This discrepancy is explained by the fact that on a surface which is not perfectly flat, there is a finite probability for multiple collisions. Impinging atoms collide more than once with the surface before they are reflected into the surface, which results in a larger probability of recombination.Research highlights► Neutral H atoms recombine on solid surfaces with certain probability. ► We investigate the recombination probability for graphite at different values of roughness. ► The recombination probability exhibits a non-linear response to surface roughness.