Space Charge Structure of a Glow Discharge in the Presence of a Longitudinal Inhomogeneity
AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB United States
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A survey of space charge structures arising due to inhomogeneities in glow discharges was conducted. Space charge structures associated with tube geometries, the cathode sheath, striations, and shockwaves were examined. Space charge effects on the Electron Energy Distribution Function EEDF were explored for a geometric inhomogeneity using an approximate nonlocal solution to the one dimensional Boltzmann equation after Godyak. The approximate solution partially captured qualitative aspects of space charge effects on the EEDF. Simplification of collisional effects and adaptation of an approximate electric field restricted quantitative comparisons with experimental data. It is recommended that any future analysis of space charge effects on the EEDF should include energy losses due to elastic collisions, electron-electron collisions and a two dimensional representation of the electric field.