Argon and xenon ion velocity distribution functions are measured in Ar-He, Ar-Xe, and Xe-He expanding helicon plasmas to determine if ion beam velocity is enhanced by the presence of lighter ions. Contrary to observations in mixed gas sheath experiments, we find that adding a lighter ion does not increase the ion beam speed. The predominant effect is a reduction of ion beam velocity consistent with increased drag arising from increased gas pressure under all conditions: constant total gas pressure, equal plasma densities of different ions, and very different plasma densities of different ions. These results suggest that the physics responsible for the acceleration of multiple ion species in simple sheaths is not responsible for the ion acceleration observed in expanding helicon plasmas.
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Version of Record
Aguirre, E.M., E.E. Scime and T.N. Good. "Ion Beams in Multi-Species Plasma." Physics of Plasmas 25, no. 4 (2018).
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This article is available on the publisher's website: https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.5021941