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Plasma, Volume 5, Issue 3 (September 2022) – 4 articles

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Article
A Global Model Study of Plasma Chemistry and Propulsion Parameters of a Gridded Ion Thruster Using Argon as Propellant
Plasma 2022, 5(3), 324-340; https://doi.org/10.3390/plasma5030025 - 28 Jul 2022
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Abstract
This work reports on the (zero-dimensional) global model study of argon plasma chemistry for a cylindrical thruster based on inductively coupled plasma (ICP) whose output has a system of two grids polarized with each other with direct current potential. The global model developed [...] Read more.
This work reports on the (zero-dimensional) global model study of argon plasma chemistry for a cylindrical thruster based on inductively coupled plasma (ICP) whose output has a system of two grids polarized with each other with direct current potential. The global model developed is based on particle and energy balance equations, where the latter considers both charged and neutral species. Thus, the model allows the determination of the neutral gas temperature. Finally, this study also investigated the role of excited species in plasma chemistry especially in the ions production and its implications for propulsion parameters, such as thrust. For this, the study was carried out in two different scenarios: (1) one taking into account the metastable species Arr and Arp (multi-step ionization), and (2) the other without these species (single-step ionization). Results indicates a distinct behavior of electron temperature with radiofrequency (RF) power for the investigated cases. On the other hand, the gas temperature is almost the same for investigated power range of up to 900 W. Concern propulsion analysis, a thrust of 40 mN at 450 W was verified for case (1), which represents a remarkable thrust value for electric thrusters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Plasma Sciences)
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Article
Simple Parametric Model for Calculation of Lateral Electromagnetic Loads in Tokamaks at Asymmetric Vertical Displacement Events (AVDE)
Plasma 2022, 5(3), 306-323; https://doi.org/10.3390/plasma5030024 - 25 Jul 2022
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Abstract
This paper describes a family of relatively simple numerical models for calculation of asymmetric electromagnetic (EM) loads at all tokamak structures and coils at asymmetric vertical plasma displacement events (AVDE). Unlike currently known AVDE studies concentrated on plasma physics, these models have a [...] Read more.
This paper describes a family of relatively simple numerical models for calculation of asymmetric electromagnetic (EM) loads at all tokamak structures and coils at asymmetric vertical plasma displacement events (AVDE). Unlike currently known AVDE studies concentrated on plasma physics, these models have a practical purpose to calculate detailed time-dependent patterns of AVDE-induced EM loads everywhere in the tokamak. They are built to intrinsically assure good-enough EM load balance (opposite net forces and torques for the Vacuum Vessel and the Magnets with zero total for the entire tokamak), as needed for consequent simulation of the tokamak’s dynamic response to AVDE, as well as for the development of tokamak monitoring algorithms and tokamak simulators. To achieve these practical goals, the models work in a manner of parametric study. They do not intervene in details of plasma physics, but run at widely varied input assumptions on AVDE evolution and severity. Their outputs will fill a library of ready-for-use lateral EM loads for multiple variants of AVDE evolution and severity. The tokamak physics community can select any variant from the library, and engineers can pick ready-for-use AVDE loads. Investigated here, EM models represent one already known approach and one newly suggested. The latter attempts to reflect the helical pattern of halo currents in plasma and delivers richer outcomes and, thus, can be preferred as the single practical model for parametric calculations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Plasma Sciences)
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Article
Chamber with Inverted Electrode Geometry for Measuring and Control of Ion Flux-Energy Distribution Functions
Plasma 2022, 5(3), 295-305; https://doi.org/10.3390/plasma5030023 - 23 Jun 2022
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Abstract
Measurements of ion flux-energy distribution functions at the high sheath potential of the driven electrode in a classical low-pressure asymmetric capacitively coupled plasma are technically difficult as the diagnostic device needs to float with the applied radio frequency voltage. Otherwise, the ion sampling [...] Read more.
Measurements of ion flux-energy distribution functions at the high sheath potential of the driven electrode in a classical low-pressure asymmetric capacitively coupled plasma are technically difficult as the diagnostic device needs to float with the applied radio frequency voltage. Otherwise, the ion sampling is disturbed by the varying electric field between the grounded device and the driven electrode. To circumvent such distortions, a low-pressure plasma chamber with inverted electrode geometry, where the larger electrode is driven and the smaller electrode is grounded, has been constructed and characterized. Measurements of the ion flux-energy distribution functions with an energy-selective mass spectrometer at the high sheath potential of the grounded electrode are presented for a variety of conditions and ions. The potential for suppressing low-energy ions from resonant charge transfer collisions in the sheath by the dilution of the working gas is demonstrated. Additionally, the setup is supplemented by an inductively coupled plasma that controls the plasma density and consequently the ion flux to the substrate while the radio frequency bias controls the ion energy. At high ion energies, metal ions are detected as a consequence of the ionization of sputtered electrode material. The proposed setup opens a way to study precisely the effects of ion treatment for a variety of substrates such as catalysts, polymers, or thin films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Plasma Sciences)
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Article
Impact of Internal Faraday Shields on RF Driven Hydrogen Discharges
Plasma 2022, 5(3), 280-294; https://doi.org/10.3390/plasma5030022 - 21 Jun 2022
Viewed by 300
Abstract
At RF plasma reactors operated at high power, internal Faraday shields are required to shield dielectric vessel or windows from erosion due to isotropic heat and particle fluxes. By utilizing a flexible and diagnostically well-equipped laboratory setup, crucial effects that accompany the application [...] Read more.
At RF plasma reactors operated at high power, internal Faraday shields are required to shield dielectric vessel or windows from erosion due to isotropic heat and particle fluxes. By utilizing a flexible and diagnostically well-equipped laboratory setup, crucial effects that accompany the application of internal Faraday shields at low-pressure hydrogen (and deuterium) RF discharges are identified and quantified in this contribution. Both an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) utilizing a helical coil and a low-field helicon discharge applying a Nagoya-type III antenna at magnetic fields of up to 12 mT are investigated. Discharges are driven at 4 MHz and in the pressure range between 0.3 and 10 Pa while the impact of the Faraday shields on both the RF power transfer efficiency and spectroscopically determined bulk plasma parameters (electron density and temperature, atomic density) is investigated. Three main effects are identified and discussed: (i) due to the Faraday shield, the measured RF power transfer efficiency is globally reduced. This is mainly caused by increased power losses due to induced eddy currents within the electrostatic shield, as accompanying numerical simulations by a self-consistent fluid model demonstrate. (ii) The Faraday shield reduces the atomic hydrogen density in the plasma by one order of magnitude, as the recombination rate of atoms on the metallic (copper) surfaces of the shield is considerably higher compared to the dielectric quartz walls. (iii) The Faraday shield suppresses the transition of the low-field helicon setup to a wave heated regime at the present conditions. This is attributed to a change of boundary conditions for wave propagation, as the plasma is in direct contact with the conductive surfaces of the Faraday shield rather than being operated in a laterally fully dielectric vessel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Plasma Sciences)
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