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Pseudospark discharges via computer simulation

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2 Author(s)
Boeuf, J.-P. ; Centre de Phys. Atomique de Toulouse, France ; Pitchford, L.C.

A hybrid fluid-particle (Monte Carlo) model to describe the initiation of pseudospark discharges has been developed. In this model, time-dependent fluid equations for the electrons and positive ions are solved self-consistently with Poisson's equation for the electric field in a two-dimensional, cylindrically symmetrical geometry. The Monte Carlo simulation is used to determine the ionization source term in the fluid equations. This model has been used to study the evolution of a discharge in helium at 0.5 torr, with an applied voltage of 2 kV and in a typical pseudospark geometry. From the numerical results, the authors have identified a sequence of physical events that lead to the rapid rise in current associated with the onset of the pseudospark discharge mode. They find that there is a maximum in the electron multiplication at the time which corresponds to the onset of the hollow cathode effect, and although the multiplication later decreases, it is always greater than needed for a steady-state discharge

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 2 )