Inductively-coupled plasma discharge for use in high-energy-density science experiments

Arrowsmith, C.D. and Dyson, A. and Gudmundsson, J.T. and Bingham, R. and Gregori, G. (2023) Inductively-coupled plasma discharge for use in high-energy-density science experiments. Journal of Instrumentation, 18 (4). P04008. ISSN 1748-0221 (

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Inductively-coupled plasma discharges are well-suited as plasma sources for experiments in fundamental high-energy density science, which require large volume and stable plasmas. For example, experiments studying particle beam-plasma instabilities and the emergence of coherent macroscopic structures — which are key for modelling emission from collisionless shocks present in many astrophysical phenomena. A meter-length, table-top, inductive radio-frequency discharge has been constructed for use in a high-energy density science experiment at CERN which will study plasma instabilities of a relativistic electron-positron beam. In this case, a large volume is necessary for the beam to remain inside the plasma as it diverges to centimeter-scale diameters during the tens-of-centimeters of propagation needed for instabilities to develop. Langmuir probe measurements of the plasma parameters show that plasma can be stably sustained in the discharge with electron densities exceeding 1011 cm-3. The discharge has been assembled using commercially-available components, making it an accessible option for commissioning at a University laboratory.