Description: We present the first analysis of the stability of magnetically insulated ion diodes that is fully relativistic and includes electromagnetic perturbations both parallel and perpendicular to the applied magnetic field. Applying this formalism to a simple diode equilibrium model that neglects velocity shear and density gradients, we find a fast growing mode that has all of the important attributes of the low frequency mode observed in numerical simulations of magnetically insulated ion diodes, which may be a major cause of ion divergence. We identify this mode as a modified two-stream instability. Previous stability analyses indicate a variety of unstable modes, but none of these exhibit the same behavior as the low frequency mode observed in the simulations. In addition, we analyze a realistic diode equilibrium model that includes velocity shear and an electron density profile consistent with that observed in the numerical simulations. We find that the diocotron instability is reduced, but not fully quenched by the extension of the electron sheath to the anode. However, the inclusion of perturbations parallel to the applied magnetic field with a wavelength smaller than the diode height does eliminate growth of this instability. This may explain why the diocotron mode has been observed experimentally with proton sources, but not with LiF, since the turn on of LiF is not uniform.
Date: December 31, 1993
Creator: Slutz, S. A. & Lemke, R. W.
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