How to use

From July 2015, BOLSIG+ is available in two executable forms:

  • Windows application with graphical user interface, named bolsigplus.exe, featuring menus and dialogs for the input of the calculation parameters as well as various facilities to quickly access and analyze the calculation results. Recommended for standard usage.
  • Console application for Windows, Linux or Mac without graphical interface, named bolsigminus, handling all input/output through text files. For experienced users who prefer a console type environment.

The input and output for both of these BOLSIG+ versions are described in the manual. Before reading this and using BOLSIG+, users should be familiar with the physical principles of BOLSIG+ described in the following paper:

G. J. M. Hagelaar and L. C. Pitchford, Solving the Boltzmann equation to obtain electron transport coefficients and rate coefficients for fluid models, Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. 14, 722-733 (2005) [download]

With BOLSIG+ we distribute an input file containing a selection of complete sets of electron-neutral cross sections for common gases. Additional cross section sets for a wider range of gases, compiled by different contributors and with varying levels of detail, are available from the website of the LXCat data exchange project at

Any scientific publications involving the use of BOLSIG+ should make explicit reference to (1) the above paper by Hagelaar and Pitchford, (2) the specific BOLSIG+ version (identified by date) used in the actual calculations and (3) the cross section data sets used as input, following the instructions given in the input file and the header of the output file. This is important for traceability.

Although no direct support is provided for using BOLSIG+, users are encouraged to report proven errors to the author, in particular faulty calculation results.

Please check this site periodically to see if errors have been reported or updates are available.