Effects of multiply charged ions on microturbulence-driven electron transport in partially magnetized plasmas

P. Kumar, S. Tsikata and K. Hara
J. Appl. Phys. 130, 173307 (2021)

Nonlinear interaction between kinetic instabilities in partially magnetized plasmas in the presence of multiply charged ion streams is investigated using kinetic simulations. It was observed by Hara and Tsikata [Phys. Rev. E 102, 023202 (2020)] that the axial ion–ion two-stream instability due to singly and doubly charged ion streams, coupled with the azimuthal electron cyclotron drift instability (ECDI), enhances cross-field electron transport. In the present study, it is observed that the addition of triply charged ions (as a third ion species) contributes to damping of the excited modes, leading to a reduction in the cross-field electron transport. The net instability-driven electron transport is shown to be a function not only of the azimuthal modes, such as the ECDI, but of the multiple ion species that dictate the development of additional plasma waves. It is found that trapping of the higher ion charge states within the plasma waves results in broadening of the ion velocity distribution functions.