Journal Article Numerical validation of axial plasma momentum lost to a lateral wall induced by neutral depletions

Takao, Yoshinori  ,  Takahashi, Kazunori

22 ( 11 )  , pp.113509-1 - 113509-6 , 2015-11-18
Momentum imparted to a lateral wall of a compact inductively coupled plasma thruster is numerically investigated for argon and xenon gases by a particle-in-cell simulation with Monte Carlo collisions (PIC-MCC). Axial plasma momentum lost to a lateral wall is clearly shown when axial depletion of the neutrals is enhanced, which is in qualitative agreement with the result in a recent experiment using a helicon plasma source [Takahashi et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 195001 (2015)]. The PIC-MCC calculations demonstrate that the neutral depletion causes an axially asymmetric profile of the plasma density and potential, leading to axial ion acceleration and the nonnegligible net axial force exerted to the lateral wall in the opposite direction of the thrust.

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