Diameter of a permanent-magnets-expanded, radiofrequency (rf) plasma source is enlarged up to ∼13 cm for an application to a space propulsion device and tested with being attached to a diffusion chamber. The source is operated at 13.56 MHz 300 W rf power in low-pressure (40 mPa) argon. Measurement of ion energy distribution functions downstream of the source exit shows generation of a supersonic ion beam of about 20 eV. The detailed radial measurements demonstrate that the diameter and energy of the ion beam corresponds to the source tube diameter and the potential difference between the source and downstream plasmas, and that the radial profile of the beam flux is similar to the plasma density profile in the source cavity.
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