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Seng, Y. S., Lee, P., & Rawat, R. S. (2015). External circuit integration with electromagnetic particle in cell modeling of plasma focus devices. Physics of Plasmas, 22(3): 033514.
The pinch performance of a plasma focus (PF) device is sensitive to the physical conditions of the
breakdown phase. It is therefore essential to model and study the initial phase in order to optimize
device performance. An external circuit is self consistently coupled to the electromagnetic particle in
cell code to model the breakdown and initial lift phase of the United Nations University/International
Centre for Theoretical Physics (UNU-ICTP) plasma focus device. Gas breakdown during the
breakdown phase is simulated successfully, following a drop in the applied voltage across the device
and a concurrent substantial rise in the circuit current. As a result, the plasma becomes magnetized,
with the growing value of the magnetic field over time leading to the gradual lift off of the well
formed current sheath into the axial acceleration phase. This lifting off, with simultaneous outward
sheath motion along the anode and vertical cathode, and the strong magnetic fields in the current
sheath region, was demonstrated in this work, and hence validates our method of coupling the external
circuit to PF devices. Our method produces voltage waveforms that are qualitatively similar to the
observed experimental voltage profiles of the UNU-ICTP device. Values of the mean electron energy
before and after voltage breakdown turned out to be different, with the values after breakdown being
much lower. In both cases, the electron energy density function turned out to be non-Maxwellian.
1070-664X (print)
1089-7674 (online)
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