Instabilities and double-layer formation are systematically investigated on a bounded collisionless system with electron beam penetrating through a plasma. The Buneman instability is observed at low beam currents. Above a critical current, there appears a sudden nonoscillatory potential drop due to the Pierce instability, which traps ions in the potential well. This collisionless ion trapping provides a new formation mechanism of the double layer, which is controlled by changing the speed of the potential drop.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)