Maximizing ion current by space-charge neutralization using negative ions and dust particles

A. Smirnov, Y. Raitses, N. J. Fisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ion current extracted from an ion source (ion thruster) can be increased above the Child-Langmuir limit if the ion space charge is neutralized. Similarly, the limiting kinetic energy density of the plasma flow in a Hall thruster might be exceeded if additional mechanisms of space-charge neutralization are introduced. Space-charge neutralization with high-mass negative ions or negatively charged dust particles seems, in principle, promising for the development of a high current or high energy density source of positive light ions. Several space-charge neutralization schemes that employ heavy negatively charged particles are considered. It is shown that the proposed neutralization schemes can lead, at best, only to a moderate but nonetheless possibly important increase of the ion current in the ion thruster and the thrust density in the Hall thruster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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