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Tonks-Langmuir problem for a bi-Maxwellian plasma

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3 Author(s)
Godyak, V.A. ; OSRAM Sylvania Inc., Danvers, MA, USA ; Meytlis, V.P. ; Strauss, H.R.

An analytical solution of the Tonks-Langmuir (TL) problem with a bi-Maxwellian electron energy distribution function (EEDF) is obtained for a plasma slab. The solution shows that the ambipolar potential, the plasma density distribution, and the ion flux to the wall are mainly governed by the cold electrons, while the ionization rate and voltage drop across the wall sheath are governed by the hot electrons. The ionization rate by direct electron impact is found to be spatially rather uniform, contrary to the T-L solution where it is proportional to the plasma density distribution. The temperature of hot electrons defined by the ionization balance is found to be close to that of the T-L solution for a mono-Maxwellian EEDF, and is in reasonable agreement with experiments carried out in a low pressure capacitance RF discharge. The energy balance for cold electrons in this discharge shows that their heating by hot electrons via Coulomb interaction is equalized by the cold electrons' escape to the RF electrodes during collapse of the RF sheath

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 4 )