Modelling of low-current self-generated oscillations in a hollow cathode discharge

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Low-current self-generated oscillations in a rectangular hollow cathode discharge in helium gas were investigated experimentally and by means of a two-dimensional self-consistent hybrid model. The model combines Monte Carlo simulation of the motion of fast electrons and a fluid description of slow electrons and positive ions. The low-frequency (≤20 kHz) oscillations were found to arise as an effect of the interaction of the gas discharge and the external electric circuit - consisting of a stable voltage source, a series resistor and a capacitor formed by the discharge electrodes. Good agreement was found between the experimentally observed and calculated oscillation frequency and current wave forms. Beside these characteristics the modelling also made it possible to calculate the time dependence of numerous other discharge characteristics (e.g. electron multiplication, ion density, potential distribution) and provided detailed insight into the mechanism of oscillations. The advantage of the present model is that considerable deformation of the electric field (due to space charge accumulation) can be taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1657-1664
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 21 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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