Atomic and molecular effects on spherically convergent ion flow. II. Multiple molecular species

Emmert, Gilbert A.; Santarius, John F.
January 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Jan2010, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p013503
Academic Journal
A theoretical model for the effect of molecular interactions on the flow of molecular ions in spherically convergent geometry where the inner grid (cathode) is at a large negative potential and the outer grid (anode) is grounded has been developed. The model assumes a weakly ionized deuterium plasma composed of D+, D2+, and D3+ ions that interact with the dominant background gas (D2). The interactions included are charge exchange, ionization, and dissociative processes. The formalism developed includes the bouncing motion of the ions in the electrostatic well and sums over all generations of subsequent ions produced by atomic and molecular processes. This leads to a set of two coupled Volterra integral equations, which are solved numerically. From the solution of the Volterra equations, one can obtain quantities of interest, such as the energy spectra of the ions and fast neutral atoms and molecules, and the fusion reaction rate. To provide an experimental test, the model is applied to inertial electrostatic devices and the calculated neutron production rate is compared to previously reported measurements for one University of Wisconsin inertial electrostatic confinement device [D. C. Donovan et al., Fusion Sci. Technol. 56, 507 (2009)]. The results show general agreement with the experimental results, but significant differences remain to be resolved.


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