Space-Charge Saturation and Current Limits in Cylindrical Drift Tubes and Planar Sheaths

Description:

Space-charge effects play a dominant role in many areas of physics. In high-power microwave devices using high-current, relativistic electron beams, it places a limit on the amount of radiation a device can produce. Because the beam's space-charge can actually reflect a portion of the beam, the ability to accurately predict the amount of current a device can carry is needed. This current value is known as the space-charge limited current. Because of the mathematical difficulties, this limit is typically estimated from a one-dimensional theory. This work presents a two-dimensional theory for calculating an upper-bound for the space-charge limited current of relativistic electron beams propagating in grounded coaxial drift tubes. Applicable to annular beams of arbitrary radius and thickness, the theory includes the effect introduced by a finite-length drift tube of circular cross-section. Using Green's second identity, the need to solve Poisson's equation is transferred to solving a Sturm-Liouville eigenvalue problem, which is easily solved by elementary methods. In general, the resulting eigenvalue, which is required to estimate the limiting current, must be numerically determined. However, analytic expressions can be found for frequently encountered limiting cases. Space-charge effects also produce the fundamental collective behavior found in plasmas, especially in plasma sheaths. A plasma sheath is the transition region between a bulk plasma and an adjacent plasma-facing surface. The sheath controls the loss of particles from the plasma in order to maintain neutrality. Using a fully kinetic theory, the problem of a planar sheath with a single-minimum electric potential profile is investigated. Appropriate for single charge-state ions of arbitrary temperature, the theory includes the emission of warm electrons from the surface as well as a net current through the sheath and is compared to particle-in-cell simulations. Approximate expressions are developed for estimating the sheath potential as well as the transition to space-charge saturation. The case of a space-charge limited sheath is discussed and compared to the familiar Child-Langmuir law.

Creator(s): Stephens, Kenneth Frank
Creation Date: August 2000
Partner(s):
UNT Libraries
Collection(s):
UNT Theses and Dissertations
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Past 30 days: 42
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Publisher Info:
Publisher Name: University of North Texas
Place of Publication: Denton, Texas
Date(s):
  • Creation: August 2000
  • Digitized: July 9, 2007
Description:

Space-charge effects play a dominant role in many areas of physics. In high-power microwave devices using high-current, relativistic electron beams, it places a limit on the amount of radiation a device can produce. Because the beam's space-charge can actually reflect a portion of the beam, the ability to accurately predict the amount of current a device can carry is needed. This current value is known as the space-charge limited current. Because of the mathematical difficulties, this limit is typically estimated from a one-dimensional theory. This work presents a two-dimensional theory for calculating an upper-bound for the space-charge limited current of relativistic electron beams propagating in grounded coaxial drift tubes. Applicable to annular beams of arbitrary radius and thickness, the theory includes the effect introduced by a finite-length drift tube of circular cross-section. Using Green's second identity, the need to solve Poisson's equation is transferred to solving a Sturm-Liouville eigenvalue problem, which is easily solved by elementary methods. In general, the resulting eigenvalue, which is required to estimate the limiting current, must be numerically determined. However, analytic expressions can be found for frequently encountered limiting cases. Space-charge effects also produce the fundamental collective behavior found in plasmas, especially in plasma sheaths. A plasma sheath is the transition region between a bulk plasma and an adjacent plasma-facing surface. The sheath controls the loss of particles from the plasma in order to maintain neutrality. Using a fully kinetic theory, the problem of a planar sheath with a single-minimum electric potential profile is investigated. Appropriate for single charge-state ions of arbitrary temperature, the theory includes the emission of warm electrons from the surface as well as a net current through the sheath and is compared to particle-in-cell simulations. Approximate expressions are developed for estimating the sheath potential as well as the transition to space-charge saturation. The case of a space-charge limited sheath is discussed and compared to the familiar Child-Langmuir law.

Degree:
Level: Doctoral
Discipline: Physics
Language(s):
Subject(s):
Keyword(s): space-charge limited | Child-Langmuir | plasma sheath | fully kinetic sheath theory | particle simulation
Contributor(s):
Partner:
UNT Libraries
Collection:
UNT Theses and Dissertations
Identifier:
  • OCLC: 47651680 |
  • UNTCAT: b2305006 |
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metadc2598
Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Format: Text
Rights:
Access: Public
License: Copyright
Holder: Stephens, Kenneth Frank II
Statement: Copyright is held by the author, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.