article-in-cell simulations of a 1.6 MV, 800 kA, and 50 ns pinched-beam diode have been completed with emphasis placed on the quality of the ion beams produced. Simulations show the formation of multiple regions in the electron beam flow characterized by locally high charge and current density (“hot spots”). As ions flow through the electron-space-charge cloud, these hot spots electrostatically attract ions to produce a non-uniform ion current distribution. The length of the cavity extending beyond the anode-to-cathode gap (i.e., behind the cathode tip) influences both the number and amplitude of hot spots. A longer cavity length increases the number of hot spots yet significantly reduces the amplitude producing a smoother, more uniform ion beam than for shorter cavities. The net current and the ion bending angles are also significantly smaller with long cavities.
Physics of Plasmas
J. C. Foster, J. W. McClory, S. B. Swanekamp, D. D. Hinshelwood, A. S. Richardson, P. E. Adamson, J. W. Schumer, R. W. James, P. F. Ottinger, D. Mosher; Particle-in-cell simulations of ion dynamics in a pinched-beam diode. Physics of Plasmas 1 May 2022; 29 (5): 053103. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0089904