Two-region model for positive and negative plasma sheaths and its application to Hall thruster metallic anodes

Ahedo, E.; Escobar, D.
March 2008
Physics of Plasmas;Mar2008, Vol. 15 Issue 3, p033504
Academic Journal
An asymptotic presheath/sheath model for positive and negative sheaths in front of a conducting electrode, with a continuous parametric transition at the no-sheath case, is presented. Key aspects of the model are as follows: full hydrodynamics of both species in the presheath; a kinetic formulation with a truncated distribution function for the repelled species within the sheath; and the fulfillment of the marginal Bohm condition at the sheath edge, in order to match the two formulations of the repelled species. The sheath regime depends on the ratios of particle fluxes and sound speeds between the two species. The presheath model includes the effect of a magnetic field parallel to the wall on electrons. An asymptotic, parametric study of the anode presheath is carried out in terms of the local ion-to-electron flux ratio and Hall parameter. The drift-diffusive model of magnetized electrons fails in a parametric region that includes parts of the negative sheath regime. In the case of the Hall parameter vanishing near the electrode and a weakly collisional plasma, a quasisonic, quasineutral plateau forms next to the sheath edge.


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