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Title: Particle-in-Cell Simulation of Quasi-Neutral Plasma Trapping by RF Multipole Electric Fields
Radio-frequency (RF) charged particle traps, such as the Paul trap or higher order RF multipole traps, may be used to trap quasi-neutral plasma. The presence of positive and negative plasma species mitigates the ejection of particles that occurs due to space charge repulsion. For symmetric species, such as a pair plasma, the trapped particle distribution is essentially equal for both species. For plasma with species of disparate charge-to-mass ratio, the RF parameters are chosen to directly trap the lighter species, leading to loss of the heavier species until sufficient net space charge develops to prevent further loss. Two-dimensional (2D) electrostatic particle-in-cell simulations are performed of cases with mass ratio m+/m− = 10, and also with ion–electron plasma. Multipole cases including order N = 2 (quadrupole) and higher order N = 8 (hexadecapole) are considered. The light ion-heavy ion N = 8 case exhibits particles losses less than 5% over 2500 RF periods, but the N = 8 ion–electron case exhibits a higher loss rate, likely due to non-adiabaticity of electron trajectories at the boundary, but still with low total electron loss current on the order of 10 μA. The N = 2 ion-electron case is adiabatic and stable, but is more » subject to a smaller trapping volume and greater initial perturbation of the bulk plasma by the trapping field. « less
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Award ID(s):
1806113 1619615
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
392 to 401
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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