Temperature screening and cross-field impurity accumulation from a thermodynamic perspective

E. J. Kolmes, I. E. Ochs, M. E. Mlodik, N. J. Fisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In a variety of different systems, high-Z ion species show a marked tendency to accumulate in regions of high plasma density. It has previously been suggested that the apparent universality of this behavior could be explained thermodynamically, in terms of the maximum-entropy state attainable when the system must obey an ambipolarity condition. However, the previous treatment did not allow for the possibility of temperature gradients. Here, tools from non-equilibrium (Onsager) thermodynamics are used to show that ambipolarity continues to play a key role in producing this behavior in the presence of temperature gradients, and to recover well-known temperature screening effects that appear in these cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number128298
JournalPhysics Letters, Section A: General, Atomic and Solid State Physics
StatePublished - Sep 30 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Differential transport
  • Impurity pinch
  • Impurity transport
  • Non-equilibrium thermodynamics
  • Plasma thermodynamics
  • Temperature screening


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