Skip to Main Content
The stability of electrostatic ion cyclotron waves propagating obliquely with respect to the background magnetic field is studied for collisional, fully-ionized plasmas in which there is a relative field-aligned streaming between electrons and ions. It is found that electron-ion collisions, in conjunction with electron streaming, provides a mechanism for instability. The role of electron streaming is to supply a source of free energy and the role of electron-ion collisions is to restrict the field-aligned mobility of the electrons, thus preventing them from establishing a Boltzmann equilibrium. Ion-ion collisions and finite ion Larmor radius are found to exert a stabilizing influence. The instability is analyzed for both current-carrying plasmas and counterstreaming-beam-plasma systems.