RFEA Measurements of High-Energy Electrons in a Helicon Plasma Device with Expanding Magnetic Field
In the inductively coupled plasma of the Njord helicon device we have, for the same parameters as for which an ion beam exists, measured a downstream population of high-energy electrons emerging from the source. Separated measurements of energetic tail electrons was carried out by Retarding Field Energy Analyzer (RFEA) with a grounded entrance grid, operated in an electron collection mode. In a radial scan with the RFEA pointed toward the source, we found a significant population of high-energy electrons just inside the magnetic field line mapping to the edge of the source. A second peak in high-energy electrons density was observed in a radial position corresponding to the radius of the source. Also, throughout the main column a small contribution of high-energy electrons was observed. In a radial scan with a RFEA biased to collect ions a localized increase in the plasma ion density near the magnetic field line emerging from the plasma near the wall of the source was observed. This is interpreted as a signature of high-energy electrons ionizing the neutral gas. Also, a dip in the floating potential of a Langmuir probe is evident in this region where high-energy electrons is observed.