Experimental investigation of electron oscillation inside the filter of a vacuum arc plasma source

Kwok, D. T. K.; Zhang, T.; Chu, P. K.; Bilek, M. M. M.; Vizir, A.; Brown, I. G.
January 2001
Applied Physics Letters;1/22/2001, Vol. 78 Issue 4, p422
Academic Journal
We report here experimental evidence of electron oscillation within the toroidal-section magnetic duct of a filtered vacuum arc plasma source. Our results clearly demonstrate that electrons can oscillate inside the duct under the combined effects of the electric and magnetic fields. In another experiment, we observe that, under the influence of the electron motion, the trajectories of the plasma ions are more or less unchanged except in the intensity when the Bilek plate is biased. Finally, our time-of-flight experiments show that the effects due to collisional scattering between plasma ions and oscillating electrons are masked by those associated with the metal plasma flow through the duct, and collisional scattering does not give rise to an increase of the mean charge state of the plasma ions. We conclude that the application of a bias voltage to the duct not only perturbs the ions but also influences the plasma electrons. Our results demonstrate that electrons at the central axis are one of the major reasons leading to improved plasma transport through the duct.


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