- Conference date: 9–13 January 1994
- Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA)
This work builds upon the collisionless plasma sheath theories presented by Langmuir (1929), Prewett and Allen (1976), and Main (1984), combining and extending the approaches of all three, and closing the resulting system of equations. This closed set of equations allows a self consistent calculation of electric fields and potential profiles for collisionless sheaths under conditions typical of thermionic cesium plasmas operating in the saturated and obstructed regimes. Application of the resulting theory under conditions typical of a low voltage thermionic converter plasma operating in the obstructed regime predicts cathode emission currents a factor of 3/2 greater than, and cathode fall voltages as much as a factor of 3 lower than predicted by earlier analyses.
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