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Title: Continuum kinetic and multi-fluid simulations of classical sheaths

The kinetic study of plasma sheaths is critical, among other things, to understand the deposition of heat on walls, the effect of sputtering, and contamination of the plasma with detrimental impurities. The plasma sheath also provides a boundary condition and can often have a significant global impact on the bulk plasma. In this paper, kinetic studies of classical sheaths are performed with the continuum kinetic code, Gkeyll, which directly solves the Vlasov-Maxwell equations. The code uses a novel version of the finite-element discontinuous Galerkin scheme that conserves energy in the continuous-time limit. The fields are computed using Maxwell equations. Ionization and scattering collisions are included; however, surface effects are neglected. The aim of this work is to introduce the continuum kinetic method and compare its results with those obtained from an already established finite-volume multi-fluid model also implemented in Gkeyll. Novel boundary conditions on the fluids allow the sheath to form without specifying wall fluxes, so the fluids and fields adjust self-consistently at the wall. Our work demonstrates that the kinetic and fluid results are in agreement for the momentum flux, showing that in certain regimes, a multifluid model can be a useful approximation for simulating the plasma boundary. Theremore » are differences in the electrostatic potential between the fluid and kinetic results. Further, the direct solutions of the distribution function presented here highlight the non-Maxwellian distribution of electrons in the sheath, emphasizing the need for a kinetic model. The densities, velocities, and the potential show a good agreement between the kinetic and fluid results. But, kinetic physics is highlighted through higher moments such as parallel and perpendicular temperatures which provide significant differences from the fluid results in which the temperature is assumed to be isotropic. Besides decompression cooling, the heat flux is shown to play a role in the temperature differences that are observed, especially inside the collisionless sheath. Published by AIP Publishing.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ;  [1]
  1. Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States). Dept. of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering
  2. Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
  3. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States). Inst. for Research in Electronis and Applied Physics
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-09CH11466; FA9550-15-1-0193
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 24; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; secondary-electron emission; weibel instability; space-charge; plasma
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1349351