Cutoff effects of electron velocity distribution to the properties of plasma parameters near the plasma-sheath boundary

Jelic, N.
November 2011
Physics of Plasmas;Nov2011, Vol. 18 Issue 11, p113504
Academic Journal
The plasma properties under high thermodynamic non-equilibrium condition, established due to the presence of electrically biased electrode, are investigated. Assumption of electron cut-off velocity distribution function (VDF), as done by Andrews and Varey in their investigations of the sheath region [J. Phys. A 3, 413 (1970)], has been extended here to both plasma and sheath regions. Analytic expressions for the moments of electron VDF, as well as for the electron screening temperature function dependence on the plasma-sheath local potential are derived. In deriving the ion velocity distribution the 'standard' assumption of strict plasma quasineutrality, or equivalently vanishing of the plasma Debye length, is employed, whereas the ions are assumed to be generated at rest over the plasma region. However, unlike the standard approach of solving the plasma equation, where pure Boltzmann electron density profile is used, here we employ modified Boltzmann's electron density profile, due to cutoff effect of the electron velocity distribution. It is shown that under these conditions the quasineutrality equation solution is characterised by the electric field singularity for any negative value of the electrode bias potential as measured with respect to the plasma potential. The point of singularity i.e., the plasma length and its dependence on the electrode bias and sheath potential is established for the particular case of ionization profile mechanism proportional to the local electron density. Relevant parameters for the kinetic Bohm criterion are explicitly calculated for both ions and electrons, for arbitrary electrode bias.


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