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Oscillations stimulated by an S-shaped negative differential resistance originating from the self-assembly and decay of a self-organized space charge configuration in front of the anode of a dc gas discharge were observed. The oscillations appear in a resonant circuit, appropriate for the discharge, which contains a capacitor having a plate charged by secondary electron emission. The plate can be a metallic or a dielectric one because the negative differential resistance operates at zero dc current to the plate. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.