Features of the dispersion characteristics of nonuniform plasma waveguides in a longitudinal magnetic field

Research paper by I. A. Vdovichenko, G. A. Markov

Indexed on: 22 Oct '08Published on: 22 Oct '08Published in: Radiophysics and Quantum Electronics


We study the features of the dispersion curves and field structures of the fundamental axisymmetric mode of nonuniform layered plasma waveguides in a longitudinal magnetic field. It is shown that the presence of sharp boundaries between layers leads to the appearance of additional branches of the dispersion curves in the frequency range ω Be < ω < ωUH(0), where ωBe is the electron gyrofrequency and ωUH(0) is the upper-hybrid resonance frequency for the near-axis region of a nonuniform waveguide. The fields of eigenmodes corresponding to these branches comprise resonance structures near the sharp plasma-density variation at which the upper-hybrid resonance conditions are satisfied and plasma waves are excited. The frequency interval of such a branch is limited by the resonant frequencies of the neighboring uniform layers. It turns out that in the case of a strong magnetic field ({ie392-01}, where ωp is the plasma frequency having the value {ie392-02} in the near-axis region of a nonuniform waveguide), the fundamental-mode field is localized in the near-axis region of a nonuniform waveguide, whereas in the opposite case {ie392-03}, the maximum wave fields are localized in either the upper-hybrid resonance region or the outer (near-boundary) layer of the waveguide if there is no resonance region. It is found that the whistler (helicon) contribution to the field structure of the fundamental axisymmetric mode is very small for narrow nonuniform waveguides (b < λ0, where b is the waveguide radius and λ0 is the wavelength in free space) if the plasma density on the axis is high compared with the cutoff density {ie392-04}. We present one of the possible explanations for the effect of narrowing of the plasma channel of a high-frequency whistler-range discharge with distance from a source in the increasing magnetic field.