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A particle-in-cell/Monte Carlo numerical model has been developed to simulate a direct current discharge self-consistently with the motion and thermalization of both energetic charge-exchange neutrals and sputtered cathode atoms. In the model the charged particle motions are considered in a self-consistent electric field. A one-dimensional glow discharge in Ar has been simulated for the cases of Al and Cu cathode. The background argon gas heating has been predicted, with the temperature rise being larger for the case of Cu cathode which is characterized by a higher sputtering yield than Al. The balance of power input into the gas due to the energetic neutrals, sputtered atoms, and ions is analyzed. The dominant contribution is from energetic neutrals. Comparison of the calculated fluxes of these three species at the cathode surface shows a great contribution of the energetic neutrals into sputtering of the cathode material. The effect of applied voltage has been also investigated. Lastly, the influence of the gas heating on discharge characteristics is discussed. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.