Kinetic theory of a steady-state double layer in a plasma Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract A kinetic theory for a steady-state double layer with a monotonic potential drop of arbitrary magnitude and with an arbitrary current is constructed. Exact expressions are derived for the distribution functions and spatial distribution of the electron and ion densities in the general case and in the case of a strong double layer. A condition for the existence of steady state double layers is found, and the spatial dependence of the electric potential of a double layer is obtained. A quantitative comparison of the theory with numerical simulations of the formation of a steady state double layer is made, and a method for choosing the parameters for a numerical simulation more accurately is suggested.

publication date

  • October 1, 1985