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Thermal‐resistive current filamentation in the cathode plasma of a pinch‐reflex diode

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3 Author(s)
Tripathi, V.K. ; Laboratory for Plasma and Fusion Energy Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 10742 ; Ottinger, P.F. ; Guillory, J.

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Electron current flow drawn off a hollow cylindrical cathode in a pinch‐reflex ion diode is observed to have a filamentary structure. Such filamentation can lead to nonuniform anode turn on and ion emission. Consequently, ion beam brightness is degraded. In this context a purely growing thermal‐resistive instability in the cathode plasma is examined. The instability causes current filamentation and grows on a time scale comparable to the electron–ion energy equilibration time. Electron inelastic collisions have a stabilizing influence on the instability.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 6 )