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Nonstationary macroparticle charging in an arc plasma jet

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4 Author(s)
M. Keidar ; Fac. of Eng., Tel Aviv Univ., Israel ; I. I. Beilis ; R. L. Boxman ; S. Goldsmith

The charging of liquid metal macroparticles in the rarified part of a vacuum arc plasma jet is studied. The sheath in the vicinity of the macroparticle is collisionless and the problem with different Debye length to macroparticle radius ratios is analyzed. Maxwellian velocity distribution functions with different temperatures for the electrons and ions in an arbitrary ratio are allowed in the model. By solving the equation for the electric field together with the equation for ion and electron flux, the charging time and the near electric field of the macroparticles were calculated. The kinetics of the macroparticle charging are controlled by the ion and electron flux to the macroparticle, which depend on the potential distribution in the sheath. The potential falls off slower than 1/r2 in the case of the large Debye length to macroparticle radius ratio, and falls off more rapidly than 1/r2 in the other case. The charge which accumulates on a macroparticle at distances of about 10 cm from a 100-Å cathode is about 10-16 C and the charging time is about 10-5 s. The influence of the plasma drift velocity on the macroparticle charging is small. The model presented here agrees well with an experimental study of macroparticle repulsion from biased substrates

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 6 )