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Title: Sharp transition between two regimes of operation of dc discharge with two anodes and thermionic emission from cathode

In a dc discharge plasma with two anodes and thermionic emission from cathode, the two anodes are used for plasma control. The main anode is placed between the cathode and the other auxiliary anode has a circular opening for passing electron current from the cathode to the second anode. It is experimentally demonstrated that a plasma may exhibit a sudden transition between two quasi-stable conditions as one increases the cathode-electron current collected by the auxiliary anode through an aperture, i.e., hole, in the main anode. In one regime, a bright glowing “ball-shaped double layer” appears on the plasma side having a potential drop of 10–15 eV and concomitant ionization in the neighboring region attached to the opening. The second regime is characterized by a uniform potential profile in plasma and an absence of the ball-shaped double layer. The transition between these regimes is accompanied by a significant change in plasma properties, such as the electron energy distribution function (EEDF). Controlling the EEDF is a valuable capability in technological applications. Increasing the gas pressure leads to the elimination of the first regime for sufficiently high gas pressure, the threshold being a few Torr. The disappearance of a regime transition can be explainedmore » by invoking an EEDF transition, from being nonlocal at low pressure to becoming local at high pressure. Local EEDF is determined by local values of electric field. Nonlocal EEDF is determined by electric field values elsewhere, and the electron can travel without energy loss over a path much longer than the discharge dimension.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [2]
  1. National Mineral Resources University “Gorniy,” St. Petersburg 199106 (Russian Federation)
  2. West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506 (United States)
  3. (Russian Federation)
  4. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey 08543 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22252813
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 5; 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; ANODES; APERTURES; CATHODES; ELECTRIC FIELDS; ELECTRONS; ENERGY LOSSES; PLASMA; THERMIONIC EMISSION