Formation of double layers

  • P. Leung
  • A. Y. Wong
  • B. H. Quon
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 84)


Experiments on both stationary and propagating double layers and a related analytical model are described. Stationary double layers with eΔ⌽/kT e > 1 were produced in a multiple plasma device, in which an electron drift current was present. An investigation of the plasma parameters for the stable double layer condition is described. The particle distribution in the stable double layer establishes a potential profile, which creates electron and ion beams that excite plasma instabilities. The measured characteristics of the instabilities are consistent with the existence of the double layer. Propagating double layers are formed when the initial electron drift current is large. The slopes of the transition region increase as they propagate. A physical model for the formation of a double layer in the experimental device is described. This model explains the formation of the low potential region on the basis of the space charge. This space charge is created by the electron drift current. The model also accounts for the role of ions in double layer formation and explains the formation of moving double layers.


Double Layer Trap Electron Control Grid Potential Profile Plasma Potential 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Leung
    • 1
  • A. Y. Wong
    • 1
  • B. H. Quon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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