Transport of a vacuum-arc produced plasma beam in a magnetized cylindrical duct

Vladimir N. Zhitomirsky*, Oren Zarchin, Raymond L. Boxman, Samuel Goldsmith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The transport of a vacuum-arc produced plasma beam along a magnetized cylindrical duct was studied experimentally. The plasma source consisted of a Sn or an Al cathode and a 17-mm internal diameter annular copper anode through which the plasma beam entered into the 160-mm diameter and 500-mm length cylindrical duct. The arc current Iarc was in the range of 30-100 A. Three magnetic coils positioned coaxially with the duct axis produced an approximately axial guiding magnetic field, Bg ≤ 20 mT in the duct. A 130-mm-diameter movable planar disk probe, positioned normal to the duct axis, was used to measure the ion saturation current Iprobe along the duct. The ion current to the duct wall, Iduct, and the probe and duct floating potentials, φprobe and φduct, respectively, were measured as functions of Bg and the axial distance of the probe from the anode, L. Generally, Iprobe decreased while Iduct increased with L, and the sum Iprobe + Iduct was approximately independent of L. For an Al arc, Iprobe and Iduct initially increased as a function of Iarc, reached a maximum at Iarc = 40-45 A, and then decreased by a factor of 2-2.5 relative to their maximal values. Both φprobe and φduct were negative relative to the grounded anode. φprobe became significantly more negative as L or Bg increased, while φduct depended only weakly on L and Bg.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977-982
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number5 I
StatePublished - Oct 2003


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation


    • Magnetic fields
    • Plasma measurements
    • Vacuum arcs
    • Vacuum-arc plasma jet


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