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Excitation of the half-frequency of the input signal in the response of an antenna immersed in a plasma

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2 Author(s)
Linh, N.P. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Ecole Polytechnique, Montreal, Que., Canada ; Nachman, M.

The nonlinear response of a cylindrical monopole antenna immersed in a steady-state collisionless magnetic-field-free plasma and driven by a single-frequency RF source is investigated. The thickness of the ion sheath surrounding the antenna is controlled by a DC bias applied to the latter. It is found that at frequencies of the driving signal close to twice the frequency of a sheath wave resonance, the 1/2-subharmonic is excited, provided that the input power level is sufficiently high. The dependence of this process on the sheath thickness and on the electron plasma density is studied in the vicinity of several sheath wave resonances. This nonlinear effect is interpreted as a parametric excitation due to the periodic modulation of the sheath thickness, and hence its capacitance, by the applied RF signal. A similar effect can be obtained by replacing the antenna-sheath-plasma structure in the measuring circuit by a variable capacitance diode. A numerical analysis of the differential equation describing the current waveform in a microwave network modeling the antenna-sheath-plasma system is presented. It confirms the fact that a periodically modulated capacitance embedded in a linear circuit is responsible for the observed excitation of the half-frequency of the input signal

Published in:

Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Aug 1990

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