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Spatial distribution of the wave field of the surface modes sustaining filamentary discharges

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3 Author(s)
Lishev, St. ; Faculty of Physics, Sofia University, BG-1164 Sofia, Bulgaria ; Shivarova, A. ; Tarnev, Kh.

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The study presents the electrodynamical description of surface-wave-sustained discharges contracted in filamentary structures. The results are for the spatial distribution of the wave field and for the wave propagation characteristics obtained from a two-dimensional model developed for describing surface-wave behavior in plasmas with an arbitrary distribution of the plasma density. In accordance with the experimental observations of filamentary discharges, the plasma density distribution considered is completed by cylindrically shaped gas-discharge channels extended along the discharge length and positioned in the out-of-center region of the discharge, equidistantly in an azimuthal direction. Due to the two-dimensional inhomogeneity of the plasma density of the filamentary structure, the eigen surface mode of the structure is a hybrid wave, with all—six—field components. For identification of its behavior, the surface wave properties in the limiting cases of a plasma ring and a single filament—both radially inhomogeneous—are involved in the discussions. The presentation of the results is for filamentary structures with a decreasing number of filaments (from 10 to 2) starting with the plasma ring, the latter supporting propagation of an azimuthally symmetric wave. Due to the resonance absorption of the surface waves, always present because of the smooth variation of the plasma density, the contours of the critical density are those guiding the surface wave propagation. Decreasing number of filaments in the structure leads to localization of the amplitudes of the wave-field components around the filaments. By analogy with the spatial distribution of the wave field in the plasma ring, the strong resonance enhancement of the wave-field components is along that part of the contour of the critical density which is far off the center of the filamentary structure. The analysis of the spatial distribution of the field components of the filamen- tary structure shows that the hybrid wave is an eigenmode of the whole structure, i.e., the wave field does not appear as a superposition of fields of eigenmodes of the separated filaments completing it. It is stressed that the spatial distribution of the field components of the eigen hybrid mode of the filamentary structure has an azimuthally symmetric background field.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:103 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan 2008

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