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Title: The physical nature of the phenomenon of positive column plasma constriction in low-pressure noble gas direct current discharges

The essence of the positive-column plasma constriction for static (the diffusion mode) and dynamic ionization equilibrium (the stratificated and constricted modes) is analyzed. Two physical parameters, namely, the effective ionization rate of gas atoms and the ambipolar diffusion coefficient of electrons and ions, determine the transverse distribution of discharge species and affect the current states of plasma. Transverse constriction of the positive column takes place as the gas ionization level (discharge current) and pressure increase. The stratified mode (including the constricted one) is observed between the two adjacent types of self-sustained discharge phases when they coexist together at the same time or in the same place as a coherent binary mixture. In the case, a occurrence of the discharge phase with more high electron density presently involve a great decrease in the cross-section of the current channel for d.c. discharges. Additional physical factors, such as cataphoresis and electrophoresis phenomena and spatial gas density inhomogeneity correlated with a circulatory flow in d.c. discharges, are mainly responsible for the current hysteresis and partially constricted discharge.
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Institute of Laser Physics SB RAS, Pr. Lavrentyev 13/3, 630090 Novosibirsk (Russian Federation)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22252057
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; AMBIPOLAR DIFFUSION; ATOMS; BINARY MIXTURES; CROSS SECTIONS; DIRECT CURRENT; ELECTRON DENSITY; ELECTRONS; ELECTROPHORESIS; EQUILIBRIUM; HYSTERESIS; IONIZATION; PLASMA; POSITIVE COLUMN; RARE GASES