TITLE

Towards a fully kinetic 3D electromagnetic particle-in-cell model of streamer formation and dynamics in high-pressure electronegative gases

AUTHOR(S)
Rose, D. V.; Welch, D. R.; Clark, R. E.; Thoma, C.; Zimmerman, W. R.; Bruner, N.; Rambo, P. K.; Atherton, B. W.
PUB. DATE
September 2011
SOURCE
Physics of Plasmas;Sep2011, Vol. 18 Issue 9, p093501
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Streamer and leader formation in high pressure devices is dynamic process involving a broad range of physical phenomena. These include elastic and inelastic particle collisions in the gas, radiation generation, transport and absorption, and electrode interactions. Accurate modeling of these physical processes is essential for a number of applications, including high-current, laser-triggered gas switches. Towards this end, we present a new 3D implicit particle-in-cell simulation model of gas breakdown leading to streamer formation in electronegative gases. The model uses a Monte Carlo treatment for all particle interactions and includes discrete photon generation, transport, and absorption for ultra-violet and soft x-ray radiation. Central to the realization of this fully kinetic particle treatment is an algorithm that manages the total particle count by species while preserving the local momentum distribution functions and conserving charge [D. R. Welch, T. C. Genoni, R. E. Clark, and D. V. Rose, J. Comput. Phys. 227, 143 (2007)]. The simulation model is fully electromagnetic, making it capable of following, for example, the evolution of a gas switch from the point of laser-induced localized breakdown of the gas between electrodes through the successive stages of streamer propagation, initial electrode current connection, and high-current conduction channel evolution, where self-magnetic field effects are likely to be important. We describe the model details and underlying assumptions used and present sample results from 3D simulations of streamer formation and propagation in SF6.
ACCESSION #
66184791

 

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