Kinetic modeling of solitary wave dynamics in a neutralizing ion beam

Nakul Nuwal, Deborah A. Levin, Igor D. Kaganovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this work, we characterize the formation and evolution of electrostatic solitary waves (ESWs) in the space-charge neutralization of ion beams using particle-in-cell simulations. These waves become excited when the electrons emitted from an external filament source initiate a two-stream instability in the beam. We show that such electrostatic waves become excited in both two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) beams with different shapes and sizes. Through a 1D Bernstein-Greene-Kruskal (BGK) analysis of the 2D beam, we find that the non-Maxwellian nature of the beam electrons gives rise to large-sized ESWs that are not predicted by BGK theory since it assumes a Maxwellian electron velocity distribution in the beam. Finally, we show that a 1D BGK theory is inadequate to describe ESWs in 3D beams because of complex electron trajectories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012110
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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