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Title: Measurement and modeling of electric field and space-charge distributions in obstructed helium discharge

Axial and radial variations of electric field have been measured in dielectric shielded 0.025 m diameter parallel plate electrode with 0.0065 m gap for 1.6 mA, 2260 V helium dc discharge at 1.75 Torr. The axial and radial electric field profiles have been measured from the Stark splitting of 2{sup 1}S→11 {sup 1}P transition through collision induced fluorescence from 4{sup 3}D→2{sup 3}P. The electric field values showed a strong radial variation peaking to 500 kV/m near the cathode radial boundary, and decreasing to about 100 kV/m near the anode edge, suggesting the formation of an obstructed discharge for this low nd condition, where n is the gas density and d is the gap distance. The off-axis Stark spectra showed that the electric field vector deviates from normal to the cathode surface which permits longer path electron trajectories in the inter-electrode gap. Also, the on-axis electric field gradient was very small and off-axis electric field gradient was large indicating a radially non-uniform current density. In order to obtain information about the space charge distribution in this obstructed discharge, it was modeled using the 2-d axisymmetric Poisson solver with the COMSOL finite element modeling program. The best fit to the measured electric field distribution was obtained with a spacemore » charge variation of ρ(r) = ρ{sub 0}(r/r{sub 0}){sup 3}, where ρ(r) is the local space charge density, ρ{sub 0} = 6 × 10{sup −3} Coulomb/m{sup 3}, r is the local radial value, and r{sub 0} is the radius of the electrode.« less
Authors:
 [1] ; ;  [2]
  1. Thorlabs, 56 Sparta Avenue, Newton, New Jersey 07860 (United States)
  2. Air Force Research Laboratory, WPAFB, Ohio 45433 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22490089
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 8; Other Information: (c) 2015 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; AXIAL SYMMETRY; CATHODES; CURRENT DENSITY; DIELECTRIC MATERIALS; ELECTRIC FIELDS; ELECTRONS; FINITE ELEMENT METHOD; FLUORESCENCE; HELIUM; POISSON EQUATION; SPACE CHARGE; SPECTRA; STARK EFFECT