An experimental investigation of the dynamics of double layers is presented. The experiments are performed in a Q-machine plasma and the double layers are generated by applying a positive step potential to a cold collector plate terminating the plasma column. The double layer is created at the grounded plasma source just after the pulse is applied and it propagates towards the collector with a speed around the ion acoustic speed. When the collector is biased positively, large oscillations are obserced in the plasma current. These oscillations are found to be related to a recurring formation and propagation of a double layer. The period of the oscillations is determined by the propagation length of the double layer.
The current is limited during the propagation of the double layer by a growing negative potential barrier formed on the low potential tail. Similar phenomena appear when a potential difference is applied between two plasmas in a Q-machine with two sources. In this case a stationary double layer forms in the plasma column, but the low potential tail is subject to "back and forth" oscillations leading to large amplitude current
|Place of Publication||Roskilde|
|Publisher||Risø National Laboratory|
|Number of pages||62|
|Publication status||Published - 1983|