Suppression of dielectronic recombination due to finite density effects II: analytical refinement and application to density dependent ionization balances and AGN broad line emission

D. Nikolić, T. W. Gorczyca, K. T. Korista, M. Chatzikos, G. J. Ferland, F. Guzmán, P. A. M. van Hoof, R. J. R. Williams, N. R. Badnell

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Abstract

We present improved fits to our treatment of suppression of dielectronic recombination at intermediate densities. At low densities, most recombined excited states eventually decay to the ground state, and therefore the total dielectronic recombination rate to all levels is preserved. At intermediate densities, on the other hand, collisions can lead to ionization of higher-lying excited states, thereby suppressing the dielectronic recombination rate. The improved suppression factors presented here, although highly approximate, allow summed recombination rate coefficients to be used to intermediate densities. There have been several technical improvements to our previously presented fits. For H- through B-like ions the activation log densities have been adjusted to better reproduce existing data. For B-, C-, Al-, and Si-like ions secondary autoionization is now included. The treatment of density discontinuity in electron excitations out of ground state H-, He-, and Ne-like ions has been improved. These refined dielectronic recombination suppression factors are used in the most recent version of the plasma simulation code Cloudy. We show how the ionization and emission spectrum change when this physics is included. Although these suppression factors improve the treatment of intermediate densities, they are highly approximate and are not a substitution for a complete collisional-radiative model of the ionization balance.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Volume237
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2018

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Keywords

  • dielectronic recombination
  • atomic data
  • atomic processes
  • ISM atoms

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