Radiofrequency antenna for suppression of parasitic discharges in a helicon plasma thruster experiment

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18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A radiofrequency (rf) antenna for helicon plasma thruster experiments is developed and tested using a permanent magnets helicon plasma source immersed in a vacuum chamber. A magnetic nozzle is provided by permanent magnets arrays and an argon plasma is produced by a 13.56 MHz radiofrequency helicon-wave or inductively-coupled discharge. A parasitic discharge outside the source tube is successfully suppressed by covering the rf antenna with a ceramic ring and a grounded shield; a decrease in the ion saturation current of a Langmuir probe located outside the source tube is observed and the ion saturation current on axis increases simultaneously, compared with the case of a standard uncovered rf antenna. It is also demonstrated that the covered antenna can yield stable operation of the source.

Original languageEnglish
Article number083508
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Volume83
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation

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