Competitive effects of an axial magnetic field and of neutral gas depletion in a positive column

Liard, L.; Raimbault, J.-L.; Chabert, P.
May 2009
Physics of Plasmas;May2009, Vol. 16 Issue 5, p053507
Academic Journal
Neutral gas dynamics has been incorporated in plasma transport equations in recent studies of nonmagnetized plasma discharge equilibrium. It was found that when the plasma density increases, the neutral gas density becomes depleted in the discharge center, leading to plasma deconfinement. Consequently, larger electron temperature, flatter plasma density profiles, and larger edge-to-center plasma density ratios were observed. In this paper, we investigate the effect of adding a static axial magnetic field to the discharge. We find that at fixed plasma density at the center, the magnetic field reduces the calculated neutral depletion and all the associated effects. Nevertheless, the action of the magnetic field is less pronounced if one keeps the power deposited into the discharge fixed instead. This is because at fixed power, the plasma density increases with the magnetic field.


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