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References

The theory behind HELIC was published in these three papers:

(1) F.F. Chen and D. Arnush, Generalized theory of helicon waves I: Normal modes, Phys.

Plasmas 4, 3411 (1997).

(2) D. Arnush and F.F. Chen, Generalized theory of helicon waves II: Excitation and

absorption, Phys. Plasmas 5, 1239 (1998).

(3) D. Arnush, Role of Trivelpiece-Gould Waves in Antenna Helicon Wave Coupling, Phys.

Plasmas 7, 3042 (2000). This contains the latest formulation.

Governing equations

Maxwell’s equations for a radially nonuniform plasma with the standard cold-plasma

dielectric elements S, D, P (= ε

xx

, iε

xy

, ε

zz

) can be manipulated to give the following set of

coupled differential equations for the Fourier transformed variables:

r z

E E

im

E i B

r r r

ϕ ϕ

ω

∂

· − +

∂

z

r

E

ikE i B

r

ϕ

ω

∂

· −

∂

2

2 2 2

0

z

B iB

m k m

i E P E

r r r

k r c

ϕ ϕ

ϕ

ω

ω

¸ _ ∂

· − + −

∂

¸ ,

( )

2 2

0

2

z

r z

E

B m k

i iDE k k S E

r r

c

ϕ ω

ω ω

∂

· − + − +

∂

where k

0

= ω / c. Here S, D, and P depend on ω, ω

c

, and n

0

(r) and have imaginary parts

proportional to the electron-neutral and electron-ion collision frequencies ν

en

and ν

ei

. These

depend on KT

e

and also can vary with radius. The expressions for S, D, and P are perfectly

general and can include any number of ion species, as well as displacement current. In this

release, a single species of singly charged ions is assumed.

For each value of k, Eqs. to are solved by a standard subroutine, yielding the basis functions

b

r

, b

z

, e

r

, and e

z

, denoted by lower case. For instance, if the plasma is uniform, b

1,2;z

(r) is the

Bessel function J

m

(T

1,2

r), as is well known in helicon theory, where

( ) ( )

4 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

1,2 1,2 0 0 0

( ) ( ) 0 ST T k S P k SP RL P k k R k k L

1

+ + − + + − − ·

¸ ]

with R, L = (S t D)/2. Eq. has two roots for T

2

, the lower root T

1

being the helicon (H) wave

and the upper one T

2

the Trivelpiece-Gould (TG) wave. The other components of b and e, as

well as the current j, are easily found algebraically from Maxwell’s equations. When the

plasma is not homogeneous, the wave which behaves like J

m

(T

1

r) near the origin is identified

as the H component, and the other root the TG component.

Boundary conditions

Let V

i

(r) be any component of B, E, or J, and v

i

(r) its basis function. Let K

ϕ

be the Fourier

transform of the ϕ component of the antenna’s sheet current density. These are related by

2 1 1 2

0

1 2 2 1

( ) ( )

( )

i i

i

H v r H v r

V r i K

FG F G

ϕ

µ

−

·

−

.

It is at this point that the boundary conditions at r = a and c are applied. The coefficients F

1,2

,

G

1,2

, and H

1,2

are algebraic expressions involving Bessel and basis functions evaluated at a

and c. In this form, the convolution of the plasma response and the antenna spectrum is

evident. Once the basis functions are found, changing the boundary or antenna is

instantaneous. The wave quantities in real space are found by integrating over k. The

azimuthal mode m is fixed for each calculation. The ϕ dependence can be obtained using a

discrete ϕ → m inverse Fourier transform.

Antenna spectrum

The antenna is an infinitely thin sheet at r = b carrying a sheet current K with ∇ ⋅ K = 0.

Hence, only one component, say K

ϕ

, needs to be specified. Let I

0

(A) be the current flowing

in and out of the antenna, and L the antenna length. Antennas can be characterized by an

azimuthal mode number M defined by the number of “legs” and the phases of the currents in

them. For instance, an antenna with four parallel legs 90° apart with opposite currents in

adjacent legs would be M = 2, and the same winding with 90°−phased currents in adjacent

legs would be M = 1. Though an M antenna preferentially excites the wave number m = M,

other m’s are also excited by discrete windings. In HELIC, common M = 0 and M = 1

antennas can be selected on the Input page, and other antennas can be specified by the user

once their Fourier transforms are known. For example, the transforms for three antennas

with infinitely thin wires are given below.

M = 0: (Loop) K

ϕ

= I

0

. m = 0 only

M = 1 half helix:

( )

( )

0

sin½

(A)

½

kL m

kL

K I

m kL m

ϕ

π

π π

−

· −

−

, m odd

M = 1 integral t−turn helix:

[ ]

0

1

sin( / 2 ) sin( / 2)

2 exp ( / 2 )( 1 2 ) (A)

/ 2

t

j

kL t m kL

K I i kL t t j

kL t m m

ϕ

π

π π

·

1

−

1

· + − −

1

−

1

¸ ]

∑

.

Special cases

TE-H mode: The classic “pure” helicon wave is a Transverse Electric mode with E

z

= 0, which implies m

e

= 0. However, all electron damping vanishes as m

e

→ 0. To retain

2

damping while retaining E

z

= 0 requires eliminating one of the equations to . Since Eq.

becomes indeterminate as m

e

→ 0, this is eliminated. The resulting approximate solution is

called the TE−H mode. This is explained in Ref. 3.

High-field case: At high magnetic fields (above ~300G), a numerical problem arises

in that the two solutions of Eqs. − become almost identical, and Eq. requires taking the small

difference of large numbers. In this case the TE−H solution is taken as one of the waves, and

the other (TG-like) solution is found by an expansion in m

e

. The field at which the program

shifts to this high-B procedure is adjustable through the parameter EB.

Power deposition

The specific plasma power spectral function S(k) is defined as

3

( ) ½Re * (W m)

plasma

S k d r

¸ _

· ⋅ −

¸ ,

∫

E J

,

where the real-space quantities E and

J

are those excited in the plasma by an antenna with a

spectrum K

ϕ

(k') = δ(k' − k). Since S(k) is even, we simplify the calculation using

2 2 2

( ) | ( ) | | ( ) | (A )

A

p k K k K k

ϕ ϕ

· + − ,

so that the power absorbed between k and k + dk, and between –k and – (k+dk) is

2

( ) ( ) ( ) (W m)(A )

A

P k S k p k · − ,

The total power absorbed is then

max

min

2

2 ( ) (W A )

k

k

P P k dk R · − ·

∫

.

For I

0

= 1A, this is numerically equal to the load resistance

2

/ R P I ·

, in ohms. If the cavity

(experimental region) is unbounded, then k

min

and k

max

are input parameters. For a cavity of

length L, the integral is replaced by a sum of k’s which are integral multiples dk = π/L with

k

min

= dk and k

max

equal to twice the k at which collisionless helicon waves become

evanescent (k

⊥

= 0) on the axis:

1/ 2

max

(0)

2

pe

ce

k

c

ω

ω

ω ω

¸ _

≅

−

¸ ,

.

The power delivered to the antenna per unit k is

3

( ) ½Re *

ant antenna

P k d r

¸ _

· ⋅

¸ ,

∫

E J

,

so that the total power delivered for a 1-A antenna current is

3

max

min

2 ( )

k

ant ant

k

R P k dk ·

∫

.

Since the antenna’s own resistance has been neglected and no power can escape from the

ends of an infinite system, nor travel radially in the vacuum region where the wave is

evanescent, R and R

ant

should be identical except for small numerical errors. In fact, since

analytic expressions for R and R

ant

appear to be radically different (e.g., the basis functions

are evaluated at different locations; R is quadratic in the basis functions while R

ant

is linear,

etc.) the value of the error

ant

ant

R R

Err

R

−

·

provides a simple measure of the accuracy of the numerical calculation. It is particularly

useful when selecting the number of radial steps, N. In a finite-length system, the method of

images used guarantees that the same power lost through the ends is fed back in by the image

currents.

The power deposition profile P

z

(z) is defined as the absorbed power between z and z + dz,

integrated over the cross section of the plasma. Thus, the loading can also be expressed as

max

min

2 ( )

z

z z

z

R P z dz ·

∫

.

Note that for the unbounded case the results have an implied period of π/dk. If, in general,

∆z = z

max

– z

min

= π/dk, then R

z

= R.

The radial deposition profile P

r

(r) is defined as the power absorbed in a thin shell the length

of the plasma, so that

0

2 ( )

a

r

R P r rdr ·

∫

.

Note that the factor 2π has been included in P

r

(r) but not the factor r. This makes it easier to

see the contribution of the H mode, which would be multiplied by a small factor r at the radii

where it occurs.

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